Retired Navy Cmdr. William D. Deibler, 61, who was a bomber pilot, balloonist, and public information officer during his 25-year career, died of cancer Monday in a hospital in Temple Terrace, Fla.
During World War II, he ferried bombers between Brazil and Africa. He was a public information officer in Washington from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1957 to 1960. In the early 1960s, he piloted high altitude balloons to test instruments used in the space program. When he retired from active duty in 1964, he was a public information officer in Puerto Rico.
He maintained a home in Falls Church from 1947 until moving to Florida in 1964.
After leaving the Navy, he was information director for the University of South Florida in Tampa, and then an assistant business editor of the Tampa Tribune.
A native of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Pennsylvania State University before entering the Navy in May 1940.
Survivors include his wife, Marie, of Temple Terrace, and a daughter, Deborah Deibler, of Nashville. Two sons, Stephen and Phillip, preceded Mr. Deibler in death.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Stephen and Phillip Deibler-Memorial Scholarship Fund, The University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla. 33620.