The 19th Fighter Squadron (19 FS) 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 Forces during World War I. The squadron saw combat during World War II, and became part of the Tactical Air Command (TAC) during the Cold War.
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.
Originally established as an Army Flying School Squadron, the 19th was based in Texas, Ohio, and New York for short periods before ending up at Clermont-Ferrand, France, to observe the French company Michelin's airplane manufacture and assembly procedures.
Renamed the 19th Pursuit Squadron, the squadron flew from various locations in the Hawaiian Islands beginning in 1923.
The squadron suffered six casualties as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on 7 December 1941, but no fatalities.
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.
In 2010 the 19th became part of the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The 19th FS is an associate unit with the Hawaii Air National Guard's 199th FS.Organized as 14th Aero Squadron (I)* on 14 June 1917
Redesignated 19th Aero Squadron
on 26 June 1917
Demobilized on 14 April 1919
Reconstituted, and consolidated (20 December 1923) with 19th Squadron, which was authorized 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.
* A later 14th Aero Squadron was activated at Rockwell Field, California on 14 August 1917. It was re-designated as Squadron A, Rockwell Field, Calif, on 23 July 1918. Today the squadron's lineage and history is held by the USAF 14th Bombardment Squadron, which was wiped out in the 1941/42 Battle of the Philippines.