Vincent Puglisi, 65, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who was the navigator of the Columbine, President Eisenhower's plane during his years in the White House, died of cancer Dec. 21 at Alexandria Hospital.
Col. Puglisi, who lived in Alexandria, was born in Canisteo, N.Y. He graduated from Brooklyn College and went into the old Army Air Corps in 1938. He became a navigator and flew on 50 bombing missions in North Africa and Sicily during World War II.
He joined the Air Force when it became a separate service. He was assigned to the White House from 1953 to 1961. Other assignments included Paris and Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, where he retired in 1967.
He moved to the Washington area the following year and joined the Federal Aviation Administration, where he was assigned to the air security division. He retired in 1980.
Col. Puglisi was a member of the St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Alexandria.
Survivors include his wife, Claudia N., of Alexandria; two sons, Vincent C., of Darien, Conn., and Ronald J., of Alexandria; a daughter, Nurinyan Kaur Singh of Washington; his mother, Vincenza Puglisi of Brooklyn, and two sisters, Mary Dolcemaschio and Barbara Puglisi, both of Brooklyn.