Lionel Payne

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Person.png Lionel PayneRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Born2 Oct 1894  
Died11 Feb 1965 (Age 70)
Alma materRAF Staff College, School of Oriental and African Studies, Imperial Defence College
A director general of MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service)

Employment.png Deputy Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service

In office
6 March 1943 - 1945
Deputy Director/Air.

Air Commodore Lionel 'Lousy' Payne became Deputy Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (Air).

Payne, a possible model for James Bond, was a legendary seducer on whose SIS report it was written that although he had "some strange friends" he was "often well informed, probably due to the fact that information is more readily obtained in bed".[1]


Payne started in the Royal Flying Corps RAF in 1916, when he was appointed Flying Officer. He became Staff Officer, Directorate of Training and Organisation, in 1920.[2]

In 1921, he became Staff Officer at the Directorate of Operations and Intelligence.

In 1924 he attended RAF Staff College, and in 1925 he attended the School of Oriental Studies.

In 1925 he was at the Air Staff - Intelligence, HQ Iraq Command, where the RAF was "policing" the country with a bombing campaign.[3][4]

In 1928 he attended Imperial Defence College.

On 1 Mar 1941, he became Director of Intelligence (Operations), until 1945[5]