John J. Bennett, 87, a retired Air Force colonel who became an assistant secretary of the Navy and owned and operated a multimillion-dollar defense consulting firm, died March 25 at an assisted living home in Clearwater, Fla. He had congestive heart failure.

Col. Bennett served in the Army Air Forces in the Pacific during World War II. In the late 1940s, he joined the newly formed Air Force and became an expert in the financial management of large weapons systems. He retired in 1969.

From 1975 to 1976, he was principal deputy and acting assistant secretary of defense for manpower, reserve affairs and logistics. He then spent a year as assistant secretary of the Navy for installation and logistics.

From 1977 to 1980, he was director of the Federal Acquisition Institute. He then formed Anadac, a consulting company that grew into a multimillion-dollar business by the end of the 1980s.

He left the Washington area for Florida in the mid-1990s and was a resident of Palm Harbor.

John Joseph Bennett was born in Camden, N.J. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Michigan State University in 1961 and a doctorate in business administration from George Washington University in 1974.

His military decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and five awards of the Air Medal.

His wife of 67 years, the former Dolores Griffiths, died in January. Three of their children have died, Tyler Bennett in infancy in the early 1950s, Jack Bennett in 1966 and T. Robert Bennett in 2002.

Survivors include two children, Jill Howard of Palm Harbor and T. Richard Bennett of Salisbury, Md.; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein