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No. XIX (Reserve) Squadron RAF
File:XIX Squadron RAF (19th Squad Royal Air Force).png
Official Squadron Crest for no. XIX Squadron RAF
Active 1 Sep 1915 - 31 Dec 1919
1 Apr 1923 - 31 Dec 1976
1 Jan 1977 - 9 Jan 1992
23 Sep 1992 - 24 November 2011
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto(s) Latin:Possunt quia posse videntur
(Translation: "They can because they think they can")[1]
Battle honours Western Front 1916-1918*
Somme 1916*
Ypres 1917*
Somme 1918
Hindenburg Line
Home Defence 1940-1942
Battle of Britain 1940*
Channel and North Sea 1942-1942
Fortress Europe 1942-1944*
Normandy 1944*
France and Germany 1944-1945
Honours marked with an asterix(*) are those actually emblazoned on the Squadron Standard[2]
Squadron Badge heraldry Between wings elevated and conjoined in base, a dolphin, head downwards.[1][3]
Squadron Roundel RAF 19 Sqn.svg
Squadron Codes WZ (Oct 1938 - Sep 1939)[4][5]
QV (Sep 1939 - Sep 1945)[6][7]
A (1989 - 1991)[8]

No. 19(F) Squadron RAF (sometimes written as No. XIX Squadron) was a flying squadron of the Royal Air Force.


First World War

No. 19 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was founded on 1 September 1915[9] training on a variety of aircraft before being deployed to France in July 1916 flying B.E.12s and re-equipping with the more suitable French-built Spads. In 1918, the squadron was re-equipped with Sopwith Dolphins, flying escort duties. By the end of the war, 19 Squadron had had a score of flying aces among its ranks, including Albert Desbrisay Carter, John Leacroft, Arthur Bradfield Fairclough, Oliver Bryson, Gordon Budd Irving, Frederick Sowrey, future Air Commodore Patrick Huskinson, Cecil Gardner, Roger Amedee Del'Haye, future Air Chief Marshal James Hardman, Finlay McQuistan, Alexander Pentland, John Candy, Cecil Thompson, John Aldridge,[10] and Wilfred Ernest Young.[11]

Between the World Wars

The Squadron was disbanded after the First World War on 31 December 1919,[12] to be reformed again at RAF Duxford on 1 April 1923.[12] They then flew a number of different fighters, and were the first squadron to be equipped with the Gloster Gauntlet in May 1935, and with the Supermarine Spitfire on 4 August 1938.[13]

World War II

19 Sqn. Mustang IIIs in April 1944.

The Squadron was stationed in the UK after the outbreak of the Second World War, and was part of No. 12 Group RAF, RAF Fighter Command, during the Battle of Britain.[14] Later versions of Spitfires were flown until the arrival of Mustangs for close-support duties in early 1944.[15] After D-Day, No. 19 briefly went across the English Channel before starting long-range escort duties from RAF Peterhead for Coastal Command off the coast of Norway.[16]

Post World War II

In the post-war period, the squadron flew at first de Havilland Hornets and later a variety of jet fighter aircraft, before being disbanded on 9 January 1992. Their final location before being disbanded was RAF Wildenrath in Germany near Geilenkirchen.[15]

The numberplate was then assigned to the former No. 63 Squadron, one of the Hawk squadrons at RAF Chivenor, in September 1992. Following the closure of Chivenor to jet flying the squadron was moved to RAF Valley in September 1994 to provide advanced fast jet training on the BAE Hawk.

In May 2008, a Hawk T.1, XX184, was re-painted in a special Spitfire camouflage livery at RAF Valley. This was done to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the squadron as the first operational fighter squadron to fly the Supermarine Spitfire from Duxford in 1938.


As a consequence of the UK's Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, the Air Force Board decided in 2011 that 19 Squadron's training role with the Hawk T2 at RAF Valley should be transferred to a resurrected 4(R) Squadron. 19 Squadron, one of the last surviving Battle of Britain Squadrons, disbanded on 24 November 2011, 96 years after it was first formed.[17]

The disbandment event, held at RAF Valley, was led by the Wg Cdr Kevin Marsh, the last Commanding Officer of 19 Squadron. In attendance were the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton KCB ADC BSc FRAeS CCMI RAF, former Air Chief Marshal Sir William Wratten, GBE, CB, AFC and Flt Lt Ken Wilkinson AE who flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain on 19 Squadron.

Aircraft operated

Squadron Leader Cozens leading a formation of six new Spitfire Mk.Is of 19 Squadron, 31 October 1938

19 Sqn. Phantom FGR.2 with a US Navy F-14A during Desert Shield in 1990

The former Royal Air Force McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2 (F-4M) (s/n XT899/B) of No. 19 Squadron, RAF. painted blue overall on display at the Kbely museum (Czech Air Force Museum) at Prague, Czech Republic, on 17 May 2007

19 Squadron Disbandment Event held on 24 November 2011 at RAF Valley, led by Wg Cdr Kevin Marsh

Aircraft operated by No. 19 Squadron RAF[18][19]
From To Aircraft Version
September 1915 October 1915 Farman MF.11 Shorthorn
September 1915 October 1915 Avro 504
September 1915 October 1915 Caudron G.3
October 1915 December 1915 Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 c
December 1915 December 1915 Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.7
February 1916 July 1916 Avro 504
February 1916 July 1916 Caudron G.3
February 1916 July 1916 Bristol Scout
February 1916 July 1916 Martinsyde S.1
February 1916 July 1916 Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 c
February 1916 July 1916 Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2 b
February 1916 July 1916 Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.5
February 1916 July 1916 Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.7
June 1916 February 1917 Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.12
October 1916 January 1918 SPAD S.VII
June 1917 January 1918 SPAD S.XIII
November 1917 February 1919 Sopwith Dolphin
April 1923 December 1924 Sopwith Snipe
December 1924 April 1928 Gloster Grebe
March 1928 September 1931 Armstrong Whitworth Siskin Mk.IIIa
September 1931 January 1935 Bristol Bulldog Mk.IIa
January 1935 March 1939 Gloster Gauntlet Mk.I
September 1936 February 1939 Gloster Gauntlet Mk.II
August 1938 December 1940 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I
June 1940 September 1940 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ib
September 1940 November 1941 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IIa
October 1941 August 1943 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb
September 1942 March 1943 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc
August 1943 January 1944 Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX
January 1944 April 1945 North American Mustang Mk.III (P-51 B/C)
April 1945 March 1946 North American Mustang Mk.IV (P-51D)
March 1946 November 1946 Supermarine Spitfire LF.16e
October 1946 May 1948 de Havilland Hornet F.1
March 1948 January 1951 de Havilland Hornet F.3
January 1951 June 1951 Gloster Meteor F.4
April 1951 January 1957 Gloster Meteor F.8
October 1956 February 1963 Hawker Hunter F.6
November 1962 October 1969 English Electric Lightning F.2
January 1968 December 1976 English Electric Lightning F.2a
January 1977 January 1992 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II FGR.2
September 1992 November 2011 BAe Hawk T.1 / T.2

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Palmer 1991, p. 3.
  2. Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation, No 16 - 20 Squadron Histories
  3. Royal Air Force: 19 Squadron
  4. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 11.
  5. Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 52.
  6. Bowyer and Rawlings 1979, p. 87.
  7. Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 99.
  8. Flintham and Thomas 2003, p. 229.
  9. Halley 1988, p. 55.
  10. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
  11. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Rawlings 1978, p. 47.
  13. Rawlings 1978, p. 48.
  14. Rawlings 1978, p. 525.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Halley 1988, p. 56.
  16. Rawlings 1978, p. 49.
  17. "IV Squadron Royal Air Force are Re-Born". RAF. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  18. Jefford 2001, pp. 33-34.
  19. Palmer 1991, pp. 353-374.
  • Bowyer, Michael J.F. and John D.R. Rawlings. Squadron Codes, 1937-56. Bar Hill, Cambridgeshire, UK: Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-85059-364-6.
  • Delve, Ken. The Source Book of the RAF. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1994. ISBN 1-85310-451-5.
  • Flintham, Vic and Andrew Thomas. Combat Codes: A Full Explanation and Listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force Unit Codes since 1938. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 2003. ISBN 1-84037-281-8.
  • Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1918-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE, BA, RAF(Retd.). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Palmer, Derek. Fighter Squadron (No. 19). Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, UK: Self Publishing Association, 1991. ISBN 1-85421-075-0.
  • Palmer, Derek. 19 Fighter Squadron, RAF. Published by Derek Palmer, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9558970-0-9.
  • Rawlings, John D.R. Fighter Squadrons of the Royal Air Force and their Aircraft. London: MacDonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1969 (new edition 1976, reprinted 1978). ISBN 0-354-01028-X. pp. 47–54.

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