Retired Air Force Col. Robert Johnson Loughry, 63, who was a bomber pilot in World War II, a base group commander in Vietnam, and a resident of the Washington area for the past 15 years, died of cardiac arrest Monday at Arlington Hospital.

Col. Loughry,who was born in Cleveland, graduated from the aviation cadet program at Dartmouth College in 1941. During World war II, he flew B24 bombers with the 15th Air Force in Italy. Subsequent assignments took him to the former British Guiana, now Guyana, and to Hawaii.

In 1947, he was named chief of the Transport Operations Division at Andrews Air Force Base. He later was assigned to Air Force headquarters in Germany and France and then was transferred to the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where he was commandant of the Squadron Officer School.

In 1964, he was posted to Vietnam as commander of the 23rd Air Base Group. A year later, he returned to Washington and for the next five years was chief of the Enforcement-Correction Division in the Air Force's Directorate of Security and Law Enforcement. He retired in 1970.

Col. Loughry, who had lived in Falls Church since 1965, is survived by his wife, Marianne, and a son, James Nilsen, both of Falls Church, and a daughter, Jan, of Arlington.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Association of Northern Virginia.