Paul W. Caraway, 79, a retired Army lieutenant general who served in the China-Burma-India theater during World War II and was U.S. high commissioner of the Ryukyu Islands in the 1960s, died Dec. 13 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He had a heart ailment.

Gen. Caraway, who lived in Chevy Chase, was a native of Jonesboro, Ark. He received an infantry commission after his 1929 graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

During the 1930s, he earned a law degree at Georgetown University, served in China and taught law courses at West Point. During World War II, he served with the War Department general staff's operations division and was military adviser to the secretary of state at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference before traveling to the Far East. He served in the CBI as deputy chief of staff for plans, operations, and intelligence.

After the war, Gen. Caraway taught at the National War College and studied at the Imperial Defense University in Britain, before taking command of an infantry regiment stationed in Trieste in 1949. He was commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division in South Korea from 1955 to 1956, then was operations and plans director of U.S. Far East forces.

For three years prior to his retirement from active duty in 1964, he was stationed in the Ryukyus, where he was commanding general of IX Corps and U.S. high commissioner. His military decorations included two Distinguished Service Medals and two Legion of Merit medals.

He lived in Arkansas from 1964 to 1967, then returned to Washington. He taught law and business administration courses at Benjamin Franklin University for about five years before retiring a second time in 1972.

Gen. Caraway was a member of the National Rifle Association, the National Muzzle-loading Rifle Association, the Honorable Company of Military Historians, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Army & Navy Club, and the American Orchid Society.

He was the son of two former Democratic senators from Arkansas, Thaddeus H. and Hattie W. Caraway. Gen. Caraway's survivors include his wife, the former Della Little, whom he married in 1934 and who lives in Chevy Chase.