Czechs honour RAF airman among first military victims of Communist regime


A memorial plaque to a Czech member of the British Royal Air Force who took his own life after being expelled from the Czechoslovak Army by the Communists was installed on Sunday near České Budějovice.

Lieutenant Colonel Václav Martínek began serving in a Czechoslovak unit under RAF command in 1942. He shot himself after being expelled from the Czechoslovak Army after the Communists seized power in the so-called Victorious February coup in 1948.

A member of the Society for Military History said that Martínek could be considered as among the first military victims of the regime, which imprisoned scores of former RAF pilots and other servicemen who fought with Western allies.