Retired Air Force Col. Rowan M. Perkins, 59, a former bomber pilot and decorated combat veteran of World War II who worked in real estate sales in Alexandria, died of cancer Friday at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews AFB.

Col. Perkins, a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., entered the Army Air Corps in 1940. During World War II, he was a bomber pilot in Europe. He was shot down over the Rhine River in March 1945. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

After the war, he transferred to the Air Force. He was deputy inspector general of the Defense Supply Agency when he retired from active duty in 1974.

In 1977, Col. Perkins, who lived in Alexandria, became a salesman for Long & Foster Realtors.

He was a member of the Retired Officers Association and a life member of the National Rifle and the National Skeet Shooting associations.

Survivors include his wife, Martha, and two daughters, Peggy L. and Barbara A., all of Alexandria; two sons, Air Force T/Sgt. Rowan M. Jr., of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Thomas L., of Capistrano Beach, Calif.; his mother, Ruby M. Perkins of Hopkinsville, and two grandchildren.