Peter Stojanovich; A World War II Veterans story


By: Megan Way
From Ruth, Nevada to World War II, in 1943, 16-year-old Peter Stojanovich and his brother joined the U.S. Coast Guard and served with the 7th Amphibious Force aboard the LST 26 as Gunner’s Mate second class going all over the South Pacific. During his service the LST-26 participated in nineteen D-day invasions and the ship earned 5 battle stars. “What you experience on D-day in the Philippines- there were nine hundred ships, bombing, shooting shells. All the smoke would burn your eyes; for a 16-year-old, to go into nineteen D-day invasions, is quite a bit” he says with a smile at the end “you see quite a bite, you’ll grow up in a hurry.”
The ship is credited for downing three Japanese planes, Peter shot one of the three. “I was at the beach with the LST-68, I had a friend from the boot camp and when I pulled off, a kamikaze passed by, if I had gone 2 minutes earlier I wouldn’t have seen him; I didn’t get credit; my job was a Gunner’s Mate, I took care of the guns, I repaired the guns and I cleaned the guns.”
After serving for three years and was (honorably) discharged on 1946. Now 93 years old, Stojanovich resides in Las Vegas.