Walter B. Ligon, 85, an Army colonel and civilian executive at the Defense Department who retired as deputy director of the Defense Security Assistance Agency, died of cardiopulmonary arrest June 15 at Columbia Pentagon City Hospital.

Col. Ligon was a native of Louisiana and grew up in New Orleans. He began his Army career while still a teenager, enlisting in a horse artillery battalion. During World War II, he participated in the landings in southern France and later commanded an artillery battalion and took part in the liberation of Nazi concentration camps.

Later Army service included duty with NATO in France and service in Korea.

He retired from active Army duty in 1962 and became a civilian logistics specialist at the Defense Department. He was a top executive of the military assistance program. At the Defense Security Assistance Agency, he was both director of plans and deputy director.

He received the Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award.

A resident of Alexandria, he had lived in the Washington area for 40 years.

His avocations included gourmet cooking, photography and, more recently, his computer.

Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Barbara Heffner Ligon of Alexandria; four children, Walter B. Ligon Jr. of Silver Spring, Tom Ligon of New York, Linn Ligon of Woodbridge and Kathleen Williams of Alexandria; two sisters; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.