Ernest Cornish Baynard Jr., 77, retired staff director of the government activities subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee, died Jan. 2 at Georgetown University Hospital of injuries resulting from a fall outside his home in Alexandria.

Mr. Baynard began his career on Capitol Hill in 1954 as legislative assistant to Sen. John Marshall Butler (R-Md.). After eight years in that position, he became staff director of the government activities subcommittee and remained in that position until he retired.

Mr. Baynard was born in Charleston, S.C. He came to Washington as a young man to attend George Washington University but left college early during World War II for military service. He was a Marine Corps fighter aircraft pilot in the Pacific Theater and received a Distinguished Flying Cross.

After the war he received a law degree from George Washington University, then was a litigator with the civil division of the Justice Department until he joined Butler's staff.

In retirement, Mr. Baynard wrote for publications dealing with government affairs, did research on world hunger and made small-scale wooden models of historic churches and processional crosses.

He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Ann Rives Evans Baynard of Alexandria; three children, Ernest Cornish Baynard III of McLean, Sally Ann Baynard and Geoffrey MacNair Baynard, both of Alexandria; and nine grandchildren.