Formed on 1 September 1939 with 17 Squadron, 19 Squadron formed part of the Airways Wing at Swartkop, flying ex-SAA Junkers Ju-52/3m's, but was disbanded on 1 December that year.
Almost missing out on the Second World War, 227 Squadron RAF was renumbered 19 Squadron SAAF on 12 August 1944 at Biferno, Italy. Flying Beaufighters, the squadron was involved in bombing and strafing attacks in Greece and Yugoslavia until the end of the war saw the squadron disband on 10 July 1945.
On 1 March 1970 a Flight of 17 Squadron was formed into 19 Squadron and equipped with Pumas at Swartkop. While A Flight was based at Swartkop, B Flight operated for a time from Durban. In 1988, E Flight at Swartkop become the first unit to be equipped with the new Oryx. A Flight was formed at AFB Louis Trichardt on 1 January 1991, with the squadron moving to Louis Trichardt on 1 January 1992, by which time they operated the Alouette III. 19 Squadron was the first squadron to be fully equipped with the Oryx in early 1994.
The squadron moved once again on 1 January 2004 to AFB Hoedspruit.
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