Air Commodore Noel Stephen "Peter" Paynter, (26 December 1898 – 16 March 1998) was a Royal Air Force officer who served as chief intelligence officer of Bomber Command. Paynter was a senior member of the team that ran Bomber Command under its formidable commander-in-chief, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, throughout the last three years of the Second World War. His reports, as head of intelligence, lay behind many of the raids on German cities, which remain the subject of controversy. Paynter insisted to the end that reliable sources had led them to believe that the Nazis had hidden large munitions stores in such historic towns as Dresden; Hitler thought that the Allies would not attack them.
Noel Stephen Paynter had been born in Essex where his father, Canon F S Paynter, was rector of Springfield. But the family has a long history in West Cornwall, with a coat of arms dating from the 16th century and a place in Burke's Landed Gentry. He married Barbara Grace, dau