Matesevic recalled one night when his 23-year-old captain said they weren’t going to anchor near the cargo ships because an enemy plane was “trying to get the equipment," so it was better to “stay away from them.”
“One cargo ship must have just come from the states,” Matesevic said. “And you weren’t supposed to shoot at planes at night because this is what happens. So they had orders not to fire. But they must have gotten excited and dropped a flare. That was bright! Man, you could see everything!. Sure enough, a bomb came down right on them.”
Matesevic was then supposed to go to Japan, but Japan surrendered. So he was sent to Pensacola, Fla. to pick up pilots and take them to New York. Then Matesevic was sent to Louisiana to retire the ship.
Finally, Matesevic was put on a train to Chicago. He was discharged on Feb. 20, 1946.
With a grin, Matesevic shared one last memory of his service.
“I got seasick in the Gulf of Mexico, oh boy, that was bad,” Matesevic said. “This guy who'd been in the service quite a while wasn’t seasick. He was smoking a cigar and blowing it in our faces.”