Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Billy B. Forsman, 53, a former deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and military attache in Israel, died of Cancer Monday at Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base. He lived in Alexandria.

Gen. Forsman joined the Air Force in 1951 and flew 100 combat missions as an F80 (Shooting Star) pilot during the Korean War. Between 1967 and 1968, he served in Vietnam, where he flew more than 200 missions in Phantoms and was operations officer of a tactical fighter squadron.

He was defense and air attache at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, from 1972 to 1976. He then spent three years as a deputy director of the DIA. From September 1976 until retiring from the Air Force for reasons of health in 1981, he was director of military intelligence for the Pentagon's European Command.

His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Legion of Merit, and the Air Medal with 17 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Gen. Forsman was a native of Warren, Ohio, and a 1949 graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science. He was a 1966 graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and a 1971 graduate of the Naval War College.

Survivors include his wife, the former Doreen Evans, of Alexandria, and a daughter, Gloria, who is a student at Ohio State University.