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George Honour

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Rank  Lieutenant
Battles/wars  Operation Gambit
Service/branch  Royal Naval Reserve
Commands held  HMS X23
Died  16 May 2002
Allegiance  United Kingdom
George Honour
Born  10 October 1918 Bristol, England (1918-10-10)
Awards  Distinguished Service Cross
Award  Distinguished Service Cross

George Butler Honour DSC (10 October 1918 – 16 May 2002), was a British submariner during World War II. He was captain of HMS X23, one of the X-Craft (midget submarines) responsible for guiding landing crafts onto Sword Beach during D-Day.


Early life

Honour was born on 10 October 1918 in Bristol, England. Honour joined the Royal Navy when war broke out in 1939, serving in small ships in the Mediterranean. He married Naomi Celia Coles, a lieutenant in the Women's Royal Naval Service.

Second World War

Honour was a member of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. During the Second World War, Honour served in Operation Gambit which was part of Operation Neptune (Normandy Landings). During the operation, X20 and X23 acted as lightships to help the D-Day invasion fleet land on the correct beaches (Operation Gambit), as part of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP). Setting out on 2 June, HMS X20 and HMS X23, captained by Honour, arrived in position on 4 June. Due to the delay caused by bad weather, they were ordered to remain in position until 4:30 a.m. on 6 June (D-Day) when they finally surfaced before erecting the navigational aids, an 18-foot telescopic mast with a light shining to seaward, a radio beacon and echo sounder, tapping out a message for the minelayers approaching Sword Beach.


  • 28 November 1944 - Temporary Lieutenant George Butler Honour, RNVR, is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry, skill, determination and undaunted devotion to duty during the landings of Allied Forces on the coast of Normandy.
  • References

    George Honour Wikipedia

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