No. 219 Squadron RAF


No. 219 Squadron RAF
ActiveAugust 1918 – 7 February 1919
4 October 1939 – 1 September 1946
1 March 1951 – 1 September 1954
5 September 1955 – 31 July 1957
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Motto(s)From dusk till dawn[1]
Battle honoursBattle of Britain
Squadron BadgeA Death's head Hawk Moth
Squadron codeFK
1950s squadron roundelRAF 219 Sqn.svg

No. 219 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was founded in 1918 and disbanded in 1957 after four separate periods of service. During the First World War it served as a coastal defence unit, and through most of the Second World War and the 1950s it operated as a night fighter air defence squadron. Three commanders of the squadron went on to be Chiefs of the Air Staff, two of the RAF and one of the Royal Pakistani Air Force.

First World War

The squadron was formed in August 1918, by merging No. 442, 555, 556 and 470 Flights. It operated a mixture of aircraft, including seaplanes, Airco DH.9 bombers, and Sopwith Camel fighters, and was responsible for the defence of the Thames Estuary. It was disbanded in early 1920, following the end of the war.

Second World War

It reformed in October 1939, shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, operating Bristol Blenheims from RAF Catterick. Whilst it was intended to carry out shipping protection missions, it began to be used as a night fighter unit after becoming fully operational in February 1940; in October, it was moved to RAF Redhill, near London, and converted to the Bristol Beaufighter. In December, it moved to RAF Tangmere in Sussex, continuing in its operational role.

It moved back to north England in mid 1942, to RAF Acklington and later RAF Scorton; in May 1943, the squadron was transferred to North Africa, where it was dispersed between various ports to provide night fighter defence. In September 1943 it operated a number of aircraft from Sicily, but moved back to the UK in January 1944 to join the newly forming Second Tactical Air Force in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. It re-equipped with de Havilland Mosquito night fighters, first Mk. 17 and later Mk. 30 models, and flew intruder missions over north-western Europe from RAF Woodvale, RAF Honiley, RAF Bradwell Bay and RAF Hunsdon. It moved to bases in France in October 1944, returning to the UK after the end of hostilities in August 1945, and was disbanded in September 1946.

Cold War

The squadron reformed in March 1951 at RAF Kabrit in the Suez Canal Zone, again as a night fighter squadron operating Mosquitoes. In October 1952 it received its first Gloster Meteor jet fighters, and was fully re-equipped with Meteors by April 1953. The squadron disbanded in September 1954, but was reformed again in September 1955 at RAF Driffield, with de Havilland Venom NF.2. After two further years of operating in this role, it was disbanded for the fourth time in mid-1957.

Notable members

Notable members of the unit included:


  1. ^ Pine, L G (1983). A dictionary of mottoes. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. p. 88. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  2. ^ Barrass, M. B. (2015). "Air Marshal Sir Richard Atcherley". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Wing Commander Archie Boyd - obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London: TMG. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  4. ^ Barrass, M. B. (2015). "Marshal of the RAF Sir John Grandy". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  5. ^ Barrass, M. B. (2015). "Marshal of the RAF Sir Thomas Pike". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  6. ^ Barrass, M. B. (2015). "Air Commodore J. G. Topham". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  7. ^ Barrass, M. B. (2015). "Air Vice-Marshal P. G. K. Williamson". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 11 October 2015.


  • Roba, Jean-Louis (October 2001). "Les Mosquito du 219 Squadron en France" [The Mosquitoes of 219 Squadron in France]. Avions: Toute l'Aéronautique et son histoire (in French) (103): 33–39. ISSN 1243-8650.

External links

  • Official history of No. 219 Squadron, RAF.
  • History of No.'s 216–220 Squadrons at RAF Web
  • No. 219 Squadron movement and equipment history