WADDINGTON, DAVID J.
Name: David J. Waddington
Rank/Branch: Flight Leader, Royal Air Force
Unit:
Age: 24
Home City: United Kingdom
Date of Loss: 19 January 1991
Country of Loss:
Loss Coordinates:
Status: Prisoner of War
Status in 2002: Released POW (see text)
Acft/Vehicle/Ground:
Other Personnel in Incident: (unknown)
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 by the POW NETWORK 2002.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: During the early weeks of the Middle East war, each time a
Coalition serviceman was shot down or captured, extensive media coverage
followed. The public and POW/MIA families alike had the information they
wanted at the touch of a dial.
When Coalition POWs began being showed on Iraqi television, the world
suffered with their families as they haltingly gave coerced "peace"
statements. This propaganda effort on the part of the Iraqis actually had a
positive effect in the United States. Families at least knew their missing
loved one was alive, and could assess their mental and physical condition
from propaganda interviews.
Then the "information gap" began. The Pentagon announced that it would no
longer release any information other than name, rank, age and branch of
service of missing or captured personnel. Allied countries followed suit.
This step was taken, they said, to protect the well-being of prisoners and
to avoid jeopardizing search and rescue efforts for the missing.
Military briefings and television reports listed the loss of aircraft and
statistics, and the human element of the war was gone. Even long after
search and rescue efforts would cease, no information was released on
missing personnel. Intelligence reports indicating "missing" people were
captured were largely ignored. In the 6 weeks following the televised
propaganda interviews by Coalition POWs, only one Coalition serviceman was
declared POW - and even then, no information was released about him.
The name of Royal Air Force Flight Leader David J. Waddington, age 24,
appeared on missing lists in late January 1991. It was determined that he
went missing on January 22, 1991. There has been no other information
released by media or government sources about Flt.Ldr. David J. Waddington.
According to national television, all Coalition POWs were released by March
6 except for one Kuwaiti. It is assumed that Waddington was among those
released. U.S. media did not focus on British and other Coalition POWs to
the extent that all names were immediately known.