The first American tank rolled into town on May 4 around 6:00 p.m. to inspect the situation and returned to Všeruby after a brief delay. In the final hours of May 5, 1945, the first actual units rode in, and the locals welcomed them excitedly. The American army remained in town until October 1945.
About 14 days before the end of the war, concentrated artillery fire was exchanged near Kdyně between the US army on its way to the Czech border and the German army. Artillery shells flew past the town and landed in the nearby forests where the Germans were concealed. Fortunately the buildings in Kdyně were spared from any direct hits. People moved their valuables into their cellars and then hid in shelters. None of the locals wanted to run from battle anymore, and they all expected a swift end to the war.
People had heard through the grapevine that the Allies were only 15 km away from Kdyně, and on May 4, an entire German unit near the town, one division strong, surrendered to the Americans. On that same day, the unit rode through Kdyně on to Všeruby, on its way to lay down its arms in Bavaria as agreed. Everyone wondered at the strength and variety of weaponry that the German army still displayed. The first American tank rolled into town on May 4 around 6:00 p.m. to inspect the situation, and returned to Všeruby after a brief delay.
One day later, on May 5, 1945, the flags of all the Allies were hung in Kdyně, while citizens lingered in the streets and impatiently awaited their liberator. In the day’s final hours, the first army units rode in and were welcomed excitedly by the locals. The American army then remained in town until October 1945.
This monument is in the courtyard between the town square and Vodní street. The courtyard can be driven through and is ringed by utility buildings (garages and workshops). The monument is in the form of a vertical stele made up of two granite blocks set into an unusual shape reminiscent of a propeller curve. Two of its surfaces have been left rough, while a third has been polished so that it can bear this inscription: “FLIGHT / LIEUTENANT / ROYAL / AIR FORCE / PLUKOVNÍK / IN MEMORIAM / JOSEF HUBÁČEK / 17. 10. 1909 – 9. 4. 1988.” The second part of the monument consists of a windsock on a metal stand, standing right next to the stele. Both parts are installed into a small grassy area; a neighboring round crossing is tiled with dark and light granite stones that form two concentric circles, with a marble pathway leading out of their center to the stele.
Col. Josef Hubáček (Oct. 17, 1909 – April 9, 1988) was one of the most famous aviators in the foreign resistance in World War II. Before the war, he was also an eminent aerobatic pilot. He fought in France and was a member of the 310th fighter squadron during the Battle of Britain. After the war he faced discrimination just like other members of the Western resistance. He was fired from his job as a pilot for Czechoslovak Airlines; he then returned home to Kdyně, where he spent the rest of his life working menial jobs.