19th Fighter Squadron

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19th Fighter Squadron
Pacific Air Forces.png
19th Fighter Squadron - Lockheed Martin F-22A LRIP Lot 3 Block 20 Raptor 03-4045.jpg
Active 1917–1919; 1921–1922; 1923–1946; 1982–1993; 1994-present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Fighter
Part of Pacific Air Forces
Garrison/HQ Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
Nickname(s) Gamecocks[citation needed]
Engagements Pearl Harbor
Battle of Saipan
Battle of Tinian
Battle of Guam
Operation Southern Watch
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
Commanders
Current
commander
Lieutenant Colonel Philip "Butcher" Lancaster
Insignia
19th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 12 November 1993)[1] 19 FS.jpg
19th Tactical Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 10 December 1981)[2] 19 Tactical Fighter Squadron emblem.png
19th Pursuit Squadron emblem (approved 20 April 1928)[3] 19th Fighter Sq emblem.png

The 19th Fighter Squadron is part of the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

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.

Mission[edit]

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.

History[edit]

World War I[edit]

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.[1] 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.

Inter-war years[edit]

Renamed the 19th Pursuit Squadron, the squadron flew from various locations in the Hawaiian Islands beginning in 1923.[1]

World War II[edit]

19th Fighter Squadron P-47N Thunderbolt, Ie Shima Airfield, 1945

The squadron suffered six casualties as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on 7 December 1941, but no fatalities.[1]

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.[1]

Cold War[edit]

F-16C Block 42F Fighting Falcon 89-2098 about 2000 at Shaw AFB

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.[1]

Modern era[edit]

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.

In 2010 the 19th became part of the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The 19th is an associate unit with the Hawaii Air National Guard's 199th Fighter Squadron.

Lineage[edit]

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[1]
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[1]

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is Lockheed Martin F-22A LRIP Block 3 Block 20 Raptor serial 03-4045, taken on 2 July 2010
  2. ^ 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.
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Robertson, Patsy (April 3, 2014). "Factsheet 19 Fighter Squadron (PACAF)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  2. ^ Endicott, p. 465
  3. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 102-103

Bibliography[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]