Mark William Woods, 81, a retired Navy admiral and Applied Physics Laboratory engineer specializing in weapon design and missile systems analysis, died of colon cancer Sept. 26 at his home in Arlington.

Adm. Woods served for 33 years before retiring in 1975 as commander of the Pacific cruiser-destroyer force.

He was a 1942 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He was a signal officer during the assault on Guadalcanal and later was assigned to a reconnaissance patrol that collected information on beach terrain at the Japanese-held Solomon Islands. He was awarded a Silver Star.

His postwar assignments included gunnery officer, executive officer, navigator and commanding officer of destroyers, surface-to-air missile project officer with the office of the deputy chief of naval operations, and executive officer of the naval ship missile systems engineering station in Port Hueneme, Calif.

He served as an executive officer and navigator of a destroyer in support of United Nations forces in Korea during the war there. He served three tours of duty as commanding officer of a guided missile cruiser in Vietnam.

Adm. Woods was a native of Whitehall, Mont., who had lived in Arlington for 21 years. He graduated from the Naval War College and received a master's degree in electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

His other military honors included the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.

After retiring from active military duty, he joined APL in 1975 as a consultant. He became a full-time staff member three years later and retired in 1998.

His first wife, Marjorie Jane Woods, died in 1987.

Survivors include his wife, the former Virginia Slaven Kelly of Arlington; six children from his first marriage, Marjorie Curry Woods of Austin, Shauna Woods Mueller of Mercer Island, Wash., Rondi Woods Pike of Plymouth, N.H., Paces Woods Wilson of Wellesley, Mass., and Robert B. Woods and Mark W. Woods, twin retired Navy commanders who live in Alexandria; three stepchildren, Randall C. Kelly and Richard J. Kelly, both of Arlington, and Judith Kelly Gillcrist of Athens, Ga.; a brother; a sister; and 24 grandchildren.