On Saturday 19 August 2017, a memorial plaque was unveiled for Jaroslav Kudláček at the school he attended in Chrudim.
He was one of the 23 killed in a tragic aircrash on 5 October 1945 and thus the last Czechoslovak RAF aircraft Captain to be killed while in RAF service.
It was a well attended event which had been organised by the Tmavomodří group in conjuction with Chrudim Municiplaity. Attendees included Mgr. Petr Řezníček, Mayor of Chrudim, representatives of the Tmavomodrý svět group, representing the Kudlacek family was Milan Kudláček, Jaroslav Kudláček’s brother, Eldon Kudláček, youngest son of Jaroslav Kudláček, numerous Kudláček family members, representatives of the 43rd Airborne Battalion and the 21st Air Force Base at Čáslav, RAF re-enactors Viktor Wildner, Lenka Grimová and Petr Radoch, with numerous well wishers. The Guard of Honour was provided by members of the 43rd Airborne Battalion.
The ceremony opening was at 11:00 with Spitfire TE184, flown by Radim Vojta performing a flypast followed by the ‘Last Post’ been played, on conclusion the Spitfire returned for its final flypast.
Master of Ceremony for the event was Markéta Kosová who welcomed all the attendees to the event before introducing MUDr Jiří Wicherek from the Tmavomodří group who gave a short speech about the tragic crash of the Liberator, piloted by Jaroslav Kudláček, at Blackbushe on 5 October 1945.
Mgr. Petr Řezníček, Mayor of Chrudim then spoke about Jaroslav’s early days when at Chrudim and attending the obecná škola where the memorial plaque was now sited. Concluding the speeches was a short address by Eldon, youngest son of Jaroslav Kudláček, on behalf of his brother Barry who was unable to travel from England to attend the event due to ill health. This address was in English, which Markéta Kosová translated into Czech for the benefit of those attending.
Eldon and Milan Kudláček were then invited by Markéta Kosová to unveil the memorial plaque.
Wreaths and bouquets were then laid by the Tmavomodří group the 43rd Airborne Battalion, Maj Jaroslav Morochovič on behalf of Free Czechoslovak Air Force Associates, the 21st Air Force Base, Čáslav and well wishers, and a bow from Mgr. Petr Řezníček.
The Czech National Anthem was then played
Markéta Kosová then thanked the Tmavomodrý svět group, Josef Hrubý the stonemason of the memorial plaque, the Municipality of Chrudim and the school for their endeavors to achieve the memorial plaque project. She concluded by inviting all attendees to visit Chrudim airfield to see the Spitfire where it gave a short flying display on it’s departure.
Video courtesy of David Růžička / Tmavomodří group.
Chrudim Aeroclub and its members had arranged for the Spitfire to visit the airfield and for its refuelling as well as beer refreshments for the visitors. Many thanks to Vladimír Bureš, Leoš Balada, František Mottl and many others for those welcome refreshments!