Charles Portal, 1st Viscount Portal of Hungerford

May 21, 1893 - Apr 22, 1971

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Charles Frederick Algernon Portal, 1st Viscount Portal of Hungerford, KG, GCB, OM, DSO & Bar, MC, DL was a senior Royal Air Force officer. He served as a bomber pilot in the First World War, and rose to become first a flight commander and then a squadron commander, flying light bombers on the Western Front.
In the early stages of the Second World War he was commander-in-chief of Bomber Command. He was an advocate of strategic area bombing against German industrial areas, and viewed it as a war winning strategy. In October 1940 he was made Chief of the Air Staff, and remained in this post for the rest of the war. During his time as Chief he continuously supported the strategic bombing offensive against Germany, and advocated the formation of the Pathfinder Force, critical to improving the destructive force of Bomber Command. He fended off attempts by the Royal Navy to take command over RAF Coastal Command, and resisted attempts by the British Army to establish their own Army Air Arm. Portal retired from the RAF following the end of the war. He served as Controller of Production at the Ministry of Supply for six years.
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