No.19 Squadron

Between wings elevated and conjoined in base, a dolphin head downwards
Between wings elevated and conjoined in base, a dolphin head downwards
Possunt quia posse videntur - They can because they think they can
01 September 1915

Formed at Castle Bromwich on 1 September 1915. It moved to France in July 1916. Although it was designated a fighter unit its equipment was wholly inadequate and it simply undertook patrolling duties. In December 1916 it was re-equipped with French Spads and now undertook fighter and ground-attack missions. The squadron returned to the UK in February 1919 and disbanded on the last day of that year having destroyed 281 enemy aircraft during the war.

No 19 Squadron reformed at RAF Duxford on 1 April 1923. Initially it was a single flight training unit providing single-seat fighter training for No 2 Flying Training School but at the end of June it became independent and was brought up to full strength. On 4 August 1938 the first Spitfire in RAF service was handed over to No 19 Squadron. In May/June 1940 the unit provided defensive patrols over the Dunkirk evacuation beaches. It was also deeply involved in the Battle of Britain including the operation of cannon armed Spitfires for a short time.
The unit continued to provide fighter support for the next three years. It joined Second TAF and provided close air support for the Allied invasion forces in June 1944. It moved to Scotland in February 1945 to provide long range escort cover for strike wings operating in Norwegian waters. By the end of the Second World War, the Sqn had accounted for some 145 enemy aircraft destroyed with 24 probable’s and 57 damaged.

Spitfires were flown for a few months in 1946 before the squadron’s first twin-engined aircraft were taken on charge at RAF Wittering in October. No 19 Squadron received Lightning F2s in November 1962 and became part of No 2 Allied Tactical Air Force in September 1965 when it moved to RAF Gütersloh, Germany. The squadron took part in Operation Desert Storm when it defended the Sovereign Base areas of Cyprus from August 1990 until the cease-fire in February 1991.

The demise of the Phantom in September 1992 saw No19 Squadron revert to reserve status, the number plate transferring to Hawk training involved in the Instructor Training, Refresher and Overseas Conversion roles of the Advanced Tactical Training Unit, No 4 Flying Training School, RAF Valley.


Various types 1915 - 1915
RE7 1915 - 1916
BE12 1916 - 1917
Spad S.7/S13 1916 - 1918
Dolphin 1918 - 1918
Snipe 1923 - 1924
Grebe 1924 - 1928
Siskin IIIA 1928 - 1931
Bulldog 1931 - 1935
Gauntlet 1935 - 1938
Spitfire I/II/V/IX 1938 - 1944
Mustang III/IV 1944 - 1946
Spitfire 16 1946 - 1946
Hornet 1/3 1946 - 1951
Meteor 4/8 1951 - 1956
Hunter 6 1956 - 1962
Lightning 2 1962 - 1976
Phantom 2 1976 - 1992
Hawk 1992 - date (30 June 2006)

Reference Sources

The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force James J Halley Air Britain (Historians) Ltd 1988

RAF Squadrons Wg Cdr C G Jefford Airlife 2001

Fighter Squadrons of the RAF and their aircraft John D R Rawlings Crecy Books 1993

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