Walter Chilcott Ford, 96, a retired Navy rear admiral and maritime consultant, died of renal failure Nov. 20 at the Bethesda Mariner Health facility.

Adm. Ford retired from the Navy in 1961 after 40 years of service. That included World War II duty as commander of the destroyer Perkins and participation in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Guadalcanal campaign. He received a Silver Star and a Bronze Star.

Postwar assignments included service as executive director of the Central Intelligence Agency and assistant chief of staff for intelligence to the commander of U.S. naval forces in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, command of service and supply operations and duty with the Maritime Administration, where he was chief of the office of program planning and deputy maritime administrator. In 1957, he was named U.S. representative to the North Atlantic Planning Board for Ocean Shipping.

After retiring from Navy service, he was a maritime consultant to Cities Service Oil Co. and United Tanker Corp. of New York and the Washington Maritime Corp.

Adm. Ford, a resident of Annapolis since shortly after World War II, was born in Buffalo. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1925.

His wife of 67 years, Channez Edith Gates Ford, died in 1993, and a daughter, Jeanne Channez Tandy McGlasson, died in 1991.

Survivors include a daughter, Barbara Rosin of Columbia, S.C.; nine grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.