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Air Commodore R E deT Vintras (26127)

 Roland Eugene de Trevieres        b: 18 May 1908            r: 1 Aug 1949               d: 15 Jan 1984

CBE - 13 Jun 1946, CLoM (Cdr) - 16 Apr 1946.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Plt Off: 27 Jul 1929, Fg Off: 27 Jan 1931, Flt Lt: 27 Jan 1935, Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1938, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1940, Act Gp Capt: 24 Aug 1942?, Wg Cdr (WS): 24 Feb 1943, Act A/Cdre: 1 Oct 1944, Gp Capt (WS): 1 Apr 1945 - 1 Nov 1947, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1947, A/Cdre: Retained.

 1 Sep 1927:            Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.

27 Jul 1929:             Pilot/Photographic Officer, No 33 Sqn.

14 Feb 1931:           Pilot/Photographic Officer, No 39 Sqn.

 7 Mar 1933:            Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

10 May 1933:          Supernumerary, HQ ADGB.

xx Aug 1933:           Attended Central Flying School.

 8 Nov 1933:           QFI, No 5 FTS.

17 Jan 1936:            QFI, No 10 FTS.

 1 Nov 1936:           'A' Flight Commander, No 66 Sqn.

23 Oct 1937:           Squadron Commander, No 4 FTS - RAF Abu Sueir

 4 Nov 1938:           Supernumerary, No 1 RAF Depot.

23 Jan 1939:           Attended RAF Staff College

13-14 Jul 1939:      Attached to RAF Catterick for temporary Operations duties

25 Aug 1939:          Air Staff, Directorate of Plans.

xx xxx xxxx:            Staff Officer, Allied Military Committee - Supreme War Council.

 9 Sep 1940:           Staff, Strategic Planning Section - Joint Planning Staff.

xx xxx 1941:           Staff, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy).

24 Aug 1942?:        Deputy Director of Plans.

xx xxx xxxx:            Officer Commanding, RAF ?.

 1 Oct 1944:           Director of Intelligence (Research).

 1 Oct 1945:           Director of Intelligence (Operations).

xx xxx xxxx:            Staff, Joint Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Defence.

Winning a 'Prize Scholarship' to the RAF College at Cranwell in 1927, which he represented at Fencing and Athletics.  He was awarded the Humanities Prize on graduation in 1929, being posted to No 33 Sqn at Eastchurch.  Initially flying  Hawker Horsleys, it was not long before the squadron became the first to be equipped with the new Hawker Hart.  Whilst serving with 33, he qualified as both a photographic and parachute officer to the squadron.   His first overseas posting came in ?, when he  joined No 39 Squadron at Risalpur in India, also flying the Hart.

Returning to the operational environment, he joined No 66 Squadron at Duxford, this time flying Gloster Gauntlets.  In 1937 he led the squadron formation aerobatic team at the Coronation display at Hendon.  Shortly after this in 1938 he was posted overseas again, this time to Egypt.

In 1938 he was offered the post of British Liaison Officer to the French in Beirut, being qualified as a French interpreter.  However shortly after this he passed the Staff College examination but his request to carry out this duty for two years before attending the RAF Staff College was rejected, for which he was later grateful.

With the outbreak of war imminent he, along with the other members of the course were posted to study their war appointments.  In his case this was to RAF Catterick where he trained to be a fighter sector controller.  Returning to Andover and completion of his staff course, after which he joined HMS Glasgow for a pre leave attachment.  Shortly prior to the outbreak of war, he found that he was not to become a fighter controller after all, instead of which he was posted to the Air Ministry and an appointment in the Directorate of Plans.  However, on arrival he met Paddy Bandon (later ACM The Earl of Bandon), who told him that he (Bandon) had been appointed to the Supreme War Council as a Staff Officer.  Being unable to speak French, Bandon asked Vintras if he would like to 'swap' jobs and so Roland Vintras became staff officer to AVM Sir Douglas Evill.

One of his duties was to organize an air service between Hendon and France for members of the Allied Military Committee and others involved in negotiations and planning with the French authorities.  Following the fall of France, he joined the Joint Planning Committee under Group Capt William Dickson.  He immediately became involved in negotiations with Britain's oldest ally, Portugal.   As a result he found himself Acting as a liaison officer to the Portuguese representative who had carried out a survey of the Azores as a possible base for long range anti submarine aircraft.  These negotiations becoming extremely detailed and drawn out and requiring him traveling to Portugal on a number of occasions.  Ultimately however, the negotiations paid dividends when the Portuguese agreed to allow the Allies to use facilities in the Azores resulting in the establishment of No 247 Group.  Operating  'Very Long Range' Fortresses and Liberators, the Group was able to close what had become known as the 'Atlantic Gap'.  As secretary of the Committee he also attended the Conferences at Casablanca, Algiers and Washington in 1943.

Returning to England, he was appointed Base/Station Commander of RAF ? in Lincolnshire, part of No 5 Group, but it was not long before he was asked to accompany yet another mission to Portugal.  However, prior to leaving it was suggested by AVM F F Inglis that he would be ideally suited to the vacant post of Director of Intelligence (Research).   Having completed his mission to Portugal, he returned to London and was shortly afterwards promoted to Air Commodore and installed as DoI(R).  He later became the Director of Intelligence and after the war he served in the Joint Intelligence Bureau of the Ministry of Defence until he retired for personal reasons.

Recommendation for the award of Officer of the Order of the British Empire

"VINTRAS, Roland Eugene de Trevieres, Acting Air Commodore (26127, Royal Air Force) - Department of Chief of Air Staff (Plans).

This officer, now Air Staff Representative on the Joint Planning Staff, has completed three years continuous service in various appointments in Plans, during which time he has set an outstanding example of hard work and devotion to duty.  He has displayed exceptional tact in his contacts with officers of the other services and has successfully conducted some difficult and delicate negotiations with the Staff Representatives of a Foreign Power.  Group Captain Vintras is anxious for release for active employment in an operational unit but this has not been possible owing to his ecceptional work on the staff."

(Source - Air 2/8871 intended for New Year 1943 Honours List when he was an Acting Group Captain but not awarded, CBE awarded in 1946)

This page was last updated on 08/09/23

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