Retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry V. Matejka, 85, a chief signal officer for U.S. Army Forces in the British Isles and at Allied Force Headquarters in North Africa during World War II, died of cardiac arrest Thursday at the Manor Care nursing home in Arlington.

Gen. Matejaka was commissioned into the Army after earning a bachelor's degree in electric engineering from the University of Texas in 1916. He served with the Coast Artillery and Signal Corps before being assigned to U.s. aRmy General Headquarters in 1941.

He then served with the Special Army Observatin Group in England before becoming chief signal officer for the U.S. Army Forces in the British Isles.

Gen. Matejka also was cheif signal officer at Allied Force Headquarters in North Africa and participated in the North African campaign.

He subsequently served as deputy commander of Army Service Command "O" in the Philippines and Japan, as commander of Fort Monmouth, N.J., and as chief signal officer of the European Command.

In the early 1950s, he was director of production management for the Munitions Board in Washington and deputy chief of staff for logistics with Allied Forces Central Europe in France. His last assignment before retiring in 1955 was with the Office of Defence Mobilization here.

Gen. Matejka's military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters and a French Legion of Honor and Croix de Guerre with Palm.

After retiring, Gen. Matejka made his home in Washington.

His wife, the former Myrtle O'Reilly, died in 1978.

Survivors include a daughter, Katherine M. Liggett of Aiea, Hawaii, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.