William J. Sullivan, 57, a retired Air Force colonel who later worked for a number of defense contractors in the Washington area, died Wednesday at Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria following a heart attack. wHe was stricken at his home in Alexandria.

Col. sullivan, who was born in Dayton, Ohio, enlisted in the old Army Air Corps in 1942. He was commissioned in 1944, became a pilot and flew bombers in Europe during World War II. His postwar assignments included duty as a test pilot at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and as a pilot during the Berlin airlift.

He later served as a number of Air Force installations in this country and had a tour of duty in Britain. While in the service, he attended Mississippi State University, Mississippi Southern University and the University of Maryland. He took an advanced logistics course at the Air Force Institute of Technology.From 1965 until his retirement in 1969, he was assigned to the staff of the joint chiefs of staff at the Pentagon.

After leaving the Air Force, Col. Sullivan was distribution director for the Toys-R-Us company in the Washington area. He later worked for a number of defense contractors. At the time of his death, he was a logistician with the Evaluation Research Company.

His military decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

He was a member of the Society of Logistics Engineers, the Retired Officers Association. He also was a member of the parish of St. Louis Catholic Church in Alexandria.

Survivors include his wife, Mary, of Alexandria; six daughters, Shelia Burns of San Diego, Calif., Patricia Smith of Alexandria, Jane and Beth Sullivan of Alexandria, and Colleen and Ann Sullivan of Dallas ; four sons, William . Jr., John and Thomas, all of Alexandria, and Sean, of Dallas; tow brothers, James, of Dayton, and Robert, of Long Island, N.Y.; two sisters, Patricia Frank of Hampton , Va, and Rosemary Sullivan of Dayton, and one grancchild.