• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert

Tortured RAF Hostage Had Paper Stuffed Down Throat Before It Was Set Alight

Published 
| Last updated 

Tortured RAF Hostage Had Paper Stuffed Down Throat Before It Was Set Alight

Yesterday (17 January), RAF navigator John Nicol marked the 31st anniversary of him and pilot John Peters being shot down over Iraq, which led to their capture and torture as prisoners of war. 

The pair's story began on 17 January 1991, when their plane was shot down in one of the first air attacks of the Gulf War. 

Luckily, the men were able to eject themselves from the aircraft. However, once they hit the ground, their situation swiftly worsened. 

It did not take long before the two airmen were found and captured, resulting in a gruelling period of torture and humiliation. 

Advert

They were then given an ultimatum – make a hostage statement, or die. 

John Nichol, photographed in 1998 at a news conference. Credit: Alamy
John Nichol, photographed in 1998 at a news conference. Credit: Alamy

As John Nichol later told The Mirror, dying was not an option. 

Speaking in 2016 about the broadcast of his hostage statement, he said he still feels 'a burning sense of shame', adding: "You can see the fear in my eyes but what you can’t see are the burns and bruises from three days of increasingly violent torture. 

Advert

"Or the crowd of hostile guards toting AK47 assault rifles just out of shot. 

"When I was first told my captors were going to parade me on TV, I refused. 

"But the interrogator simply shrugged and said, ‘Okay, then we will kill you,’ so I had to decide, was it really worth dying for? Probably not." 

John continued: "The guards started interrogating and torturing us. Every time we didn’t answer their questions, they got more hostile and violent. 

Advert
John Nichol and John Peters after completing their first flight together since being shot down. Credit: Alamy
John Nichol and John Peters after completing their first flight together since being shot down. Credit: Alamy

"They punched and kicked us, banging our heads off walls. I was chained to a chair, beaten and a guard stubbed out his cigarette on my ear. 

"After a few days, the Iraqis brought in their big players, who stuffed tissue paper down my neck and set fire to it. 

"That was when I started talking. I didn’t know anything really important but even so, I felt shame." 

Advert

After facing such brutal torture for seven weeks, the two men were finally freed and John bravely resumed his career in the RAF shortly after. 

The pair are now bestselling authors, as they wrote a book entitled Tornado Down detailing the horrific ordeal. 

To mark the 31st anniversary, John took to Twitter to pay tribute to his fellow soldiers that sadly did not make it home, as well as the ejector seat that saved his life. 

The post read: "31 years & 4 stone ago, it was all going seriously 'Pete Tong'. Our Tornado had been transformed into scrap metal and we were embarking on a jolly tiresome journey. 

Advert

"Thank you @MB_EjectEject for the last 31 years. RIP to those who didn't make it home." 

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Army, Books, UK News

Abbi Murray
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Should I Be Worried About Monkeypox And What Are The Symptoms?

2 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Incredible Eurostar Deal Offers Train To Amsterdam And Back For Just £80

5 hours ago