Gladys E. Wise, 51, associate chief of the Air Force public information division at the Pentagon, died Thursday at her home in Centreville, Va., after a heart attack.

Mrs. Wise was a confidante of past secretaries of the Air Force and well known in journalistic circles from her 17 years in the Air Force information office. She started there in 1960 as a secretary and rose to become the highest ranking woman information officer in the Air Force.

"She lived and breathed the Air Force and could answer everybody's questions," a colleague said. Former Air Force Secretary Thomas C. Reed presented Mrs. Wise with a special plaque at a dinner in her honor last month.

A native of Bronson, Tex., Mrs. Wise first came to the Air Force in 1950, when she worked in the air attache office at the Pentagon. Her enthusiasm for flying grew to the point that she decided to try it herself, and earned a commercial pilot's license.

Besides answering questions from other writers about the Air Force, Mrs. Wise wrote numerous articles for aeronautical magazines and journals. She has been listed in Who's Who of American Women annually since 1971.

She was a graduate of Sam Houston State University and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Mrs. Wise was a member of several aviation organizations, including the Ninety-Nines international group of licensed pilots, Aviation Space Writers Association and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. She also belonged to the American Newspaper Women's Club and Zonta International, a group of professional business women.

Mrs Wise had just moved from Alexandria to her new home in Centreville when she suffered a heart attack. She is survived by her husband, retired Air Force Col. H. Grady Wise.