COLLIER, ROBERT MAXWELL
Name: Robert Maxwell Collier
Rank/Branch: Flight Lieutenant/Royal Air Force
Unit:
Age:
Home City: Great Britain
Date of Loss: 18 January 1991
Country of Loss: Iraq
Loss Coordinates:
Status: Remains returned
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: Tornado
Other Personnel in Incident: Thomas N.C. Elsdon; Robert J. Stewart (both
released)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 09 March 1991 from one
or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
published sources, interviews. Updated 2002 by the P.O.W. NETWORK.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: On January 16, 1991, Allied forces began concentrated air strikes
on Iraqi military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. The United Kingdom had the
second largest military contingent of troops after the U.S. with 35-40,000
troops, 75 Tornado fighter/bombers, and sixteen warships.
Three airmen - Flight Lieutenant Robert M. Collier, Wing Commander Thomas
N.C. Elsdon, and Navigator Robert J. Stewart - were crewmen of Tornado GR1
fighter/bombers which flew in the early strikes of the war. Collier and
Stewart were navigators, and Elsdon was a pilot. The Tornado generally
carries two crew members, and it is not clear what the crew assignment was
for these three. On January 18, 1991, Collier, Elsdon and Stewart were shot
down and declared missing.
Beginning on January 20, Allied POWs began to appear on Iraqi television and
radio making "peace statements." The men were clearly under great duress and
apparently had been tortured. Despite condemnation from world leaders, the
propaganda continued. Then during the last week of January, Iraq announced
that it would no longer show Allied POWs on television. Many observers fear
that the lack of media - even propaganda - will keep the POWs an
international secret, limiting the chances the world community will demand
their release.
According to national television, all Coalition POWs were released by March
6 except for one Kuwaiti. It was assumed that Collier, Elsdon and Stewart
were among those released until we received the following:
From: "Mark Youngman" 
Subject: Royal Air Force 'Returnees'
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 20:46:48 +0100
Stumbled upon your site recently.
You may wish to amend your site.
Wing Commander Nigel Elsdon and Flight Lieutenant Max Collier were "returned"
to the UK - in body bags.
I was there the night they died, some 15 nm NW of the Iraqi airfield at Shaibah. 
Their JP233 attack was successful, as was mine; we were flying auto 
terrain following at 150', at night, when they impacted the ground some 2 mins 
later no chutes, no locator beacons.