SGT Joseph Andrew “Kiwi” Matejov was killed in action on 5 February 1973, when the EC-47 aircraft, callsign BARON 52, on which he was serving as an Airborne Morse Systems Operator, was downed by enemy fire over southern Laos. Baron 52 was the last EC-47 lost to enemy fire.
SGT Matejov was born on 2 February 1952, in Fort Sill, OK and graduated from East Meadow High School, East Meadow, NY in 1970.
SGT Matejov enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on 14 July 1970, completing basic training at Lackland AFB, TX and Morse Code technical training at Keesler AFB, MS. After technical training, SGT Matejov was assigned to Misawa AB, Japan. On 12 April 1972, he was assigned to Det 3, 6994th Security Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.
SGT Matejov’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously), Purple Heart (Posthumously), and the Air Medal (3rd OLC).
SGT Matejov is interred in a communal grave in section 34, site 4402, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. His name is engraved on the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall on Panel 1W, line 114.
The Matejov Community Center on Misawa AB, Japan is named in SGT Matejov’s memory.