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The Airmen's Stories - F/O D S G Honor


Dudley Sandry Garton Honor was born to British parents on 5th September 1913 at Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina where he was educated. After the family returned to England he continued his education at Caistor Grammar School in Lincolnshire.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission in July 1937 and did his initial training at 8 E&RFTS Woodley.

On 18th September Honor was posted to 6 FTS Netheravon and after completing his flying training joined 88 Squadron at Boscombe Down on 7th March 1938. Equipped with Fairey Battle light bombers, the squadron went to France at the outbreak of war as part of the AASF and suffered heavy losses in the German blitzkrieg.



For his services in France Honor was later awarded the DFC (gazetted 5th January 1940). After 88 was withdrawn from France in June 1940 he volunteered for Fighter Command. After converting to Hurricanes Honor was posted to 145 Squadron at Drem on 28th August.

He shared in the destruction of an Arado Ar196 floatplane on 12th October. Honor made a forced-landing at Hollington, near St. Leonards on the 27th, after running out of fuel following a combat with Me109s. His Hurricane, V7422, was written off.

On 2nd December Honor was posted to 85 Squadron at Debden in the night-fighting role. On 29th January 1941 he was posted to the Middle East, destined for 274 Squadron in the Western Desert as a Flight Commander. He joined it at Amriya on 6th April.

He claimed a Me109 destroyed on 1st May, a Me109 destroyed and another three damaged on the 15th and on the 20th he destroyed a Me110, which had just taken off from Mechili, as well as a Ju52 on the ground.

On 25th May he and another aircraft were tasked to attack the German-held airfield at Maleme. Honor destroyed a Ju52 and a SM79 but was then shot down by a Me109. He ditched in the sea where his Hurricane sank to 40 feet before he was able to escape from the cockpit. His German lifejacket, obtained during his service in France, inflated immediately and he surfaced.

The sea was rough but he managed to swim to the shore half a mile away. He had great difficulty climbing on to the rocks and his hands were badly torn before he was able to scramble ashore and head for the hills, where the locals sheltered him. He travelled through the mountains to the coast on the south side of the island where he took cover. On the sixth day he saw a Sunderland flying boat land close by to evacuate senior army officers and other survivors.

Honor flashed an SOS which was seen and resulted in a single-seat dinghy being rowed ashore. He scrambled down the steep rocks to the shoreline and managed to squeeze into the dinghy and was taken to the waiting Sunderland. After collecting some Greek army survivors, the aircraft took off and flew back to Alexandria. He was back with his squadron on 5th June. He damaged a Me109 on the 17th and was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 10th June 1941).

Honor took command of 274 Squadron in August and led it until 12th November 1941 when he was promoted to Acting Wing Commander to lead 258 Wing. On 6th December he destroyed a Mc202 eight miles from Tobruk. In December 1942 Honor was commanding 17 Sector, Benghazi. He later served in Malta, Sicily and Italy before returning to the UK.

In 1944 he was posted as Air Attache to Colombia, Venezuala and Ecuador. Honor was released from the RAF in 1947 as a Group Captain.

In 1951 he was appointed director (Latin America) of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. In 1960 he became Canadair's director in the region before becoming the manager of Air Canada (South America). His companies provided him with a Dove transport aircraft and he and his wife Mary (Bentley) flew together over most of South America.

In retirement the Honors moved initially to Canada but in 1973 they moved to Spain, where they started to grow lettuces. Honor introduced new varieties to the region and was dubbed the 'Lettuce King of Andalusia'. In 1990 they moved back to England, settling in Devon.

Honor died on 26th December 2007.


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