19th Fighter Squadron
|19th Fighter Squadron
|Active||1917–1919; 1921–1922; 1923–1946; 1982–1993; 1994-present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Pacific Air Forces|
|Garrison/HQ||Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam|
|Nickname(s)||Gamecocks / Mytai Fighters|
Battle of Saipan
Battle of Tinian
Battle of Guam
Operation Southern Watch
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|Lieutenant Colonel Graham "Jinx" Stewart|
|19th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 12 November 1993)|
|19th Tactical Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 10 December 1981)|
|19th Pursuit Squadron emblem (approved 20 April 1928)|
The squadron is one of the oldest in the United States Air Force, its origins dating to 14 June 1917, being organized at Kelly Field, Texas. It served overseas in France as part of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. The squadron saw combat during World War II, and became part of the Tactical Air Command during the Cold War.
Today the 19th FS operates the F-22 Raptor aircraft conducting strategic attack, interdiction, offensive counterair (air-to-surface), suppression of enemy air defenses, as well as offensive and defensive counterair (air-to-air) missions.
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World War I
Originally established as an Army Flying School Squadron, the 19th was based in Texas, Ohio, and New York for short periods. After a few weeks at the Air Service Replacement Concentration Barracks in St. Maixent, from 1 Jan 1918, the squadron moved for Seventh Aviation Instruction Center (repair) at Aulnat Aerodrome, east of Clermont-Ferrand, France, to train and observe the French company Michelin's airplane manufacture and assembly procedures. It stayed with 7th AIC until the end of 1918. Moving for Cenac, near Bordeaux on 29 December, the squadron left France on 18 March, 1919.
World War II
The squadron was then stationed aboard the USS Natoma Bay, off Saipan. Upon arriving, the 19th flew night and day missions, strafing and using general purpose bombs and rockets in support of advancing U.S. ground troops. Using homemade napalm bombs made out of napalm, gasoline, and oil placed inside fuel tanks, the 19th helped U.S. forces successfully invade and capture Saipan, Tinian, and Guam islands in only three months. The squadron's mission then changed to long-range bomber escort missions with occasional strike missions to nearby Pagan Island and Iwo Jima. The squadron then relocated to Okinawa, where the first 19 FS pilots were awarded their 'ace' rating. Later, in August 1945, after numerous aerial victories and assorted bombing missions, it participated in the Japanese surrender.
From 1982-1993, it trained for close air support, air-to-air superiority, and maintained a state of readiness to deploy worldwide. In June 1987, the 19th set a new world record for the number of F-16 sorties flown in one day with 160, besting the previous record of 144. In September 1992 the 19th deployed to Southwest Asia to fly combat air patrol missions to enforce terms of United Nations cease fire agreement following Operation Desert Storm.
On 1 January 1994, the 19th took over personnel, facilities and equipment of 43d Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. It won the Hughes Trophy in recognition as the top air superiority squadron in the USAF for 2001. Since 1994, it has mobilized, deployed, and employed fighter aircraft worldwide to accomplish air superiority in support of warfighting commanders.
- 19th Aero Squadron
- Organized as the 14th Aero Squadron on 14 June 1917[note 2]
- Redesignated 19th Aero Squadron on 26 June 1917
- Demobilized on 14 April 1919
- Reconstituted and consolidated with the 19th Pursuit Squadron on 20 December 1923
- 19th Fighter Squadron
- Constituted as the 19th Squadron (Pursuit) on 30 August 1921
- Organized on 1 October 1921
- Inactivated on 29 June 1922
- Redesignated 19th Pursuit Squadron on 25 January 1923
- Activated on 1 May 1923
- Redesignated: 19th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 6 December 1939
- Redesignated: 19th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
- Redesignated: 19th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 20 August 1943
- Inactivated on 12 January 1946
- Redesignated 19th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 11 December 1981
- Activated on 1 April 1982
- Redesignated: 19th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
- Inactivated on 31 December 1993
- Activated on 1 January 1994
- Curtiss JN-6H (1921–1922, 1923–1926)
- Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 (1921–1922, 1923–1926)
- Thomas-Morse MB-3 (1923–1926)
- Airco DH.4 (1923–1926)
- Boeing PW-9 (1927–1930)
- Boeing P-12 (1931–1937, 1938–1941)
- Boeing P-26 Peashooter (1938–1941)
- Curtiss P-36 Hawk (1938–1941)
- A-12 Shrike (1938–1941)
- North American BT-9 (1938–1941)
- Douglas OA-3 Dolphin (1938–1941)
- Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (1941–1943)
- Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (1943–1945)
- Lockheed P-38 Lightning (1944–1945)
- General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (1982–1993)
- McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle (1994–2010)
- Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor (2010-present)
- Aircraft is Lockheed Martin F-22A LRIP Block 3 Block 20 Raptor serial 03-4045, taken on 2 July 2010
- A later 14th Aero Squadron was activated at Rockwell Field, California on 14 August 1917. It was redesignated Squadron A, Rockwell Field, Calif, on 23 July 1918. That squadron's lineage and history is held by the 14th Bombardment Squadron, which was wiped out in the 1941/42 Battle of the Philippines.
- Endicott, Judy G. (1998). Active Air Force Wings as of 1 October 1995 and USAF Active Flying, Space, and Missile Squadrons as of 1 October 1995 (PDF). Air Force History and Museums Program. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ASIN B000113MB2. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Retrieved December 17, 2016.