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419th Bombardment Squadron

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Title: 419th Bombardment Squadron  
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Subject: Northwest African Strategic Air Force
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419th Bombardment Squadron

419th Flight Test Squadron

419th Flight Test Squadron - Rockwell B-1B Lancer 85-0075

419th Flight Test Squadron - Boeing B-52H Stratofortress 60-0034

419th Flight Test Squadron - B-2 Spirit

Active 3 February 1942 - Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Flight Testing
Part of Air Force Materiel Command
Garrison/HQ Edwards Air Force Base, California
Tail Code "ED"
Decorations AFOUA
419th Flight Test Squadron emblem
Aircraft flown
Bomber B-2 Spirit
B-1 Lancer
B-52 Stratofortress

The 419th Flight Test Squadron (419 FTS) is a United States Air Force squadron. It is assigned to the 412th Operations Group, Air Force Materiel Command, stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, California.


The 419th FTS performs flight testing on B-2 Spirit, B-1 Lancer, and B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers.


World War II

Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron in early 1942; trained under Second Air Force. Flew antisubmarine patrols off the California coast from, late May–early June 1942, then over the Mid-Atlantic coast during June–July 1942.[1]

Deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO) in August 1942, being assigned to VIII Bomber Command, one of the first B-17 heavy bomb squadrons assigned to England. Engaged in strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe attacking enemy military and industrial targets. Reassigned to Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) as part of Operation Torch invasion of North Africa. Operated from desert airfields in Algeria and Tunisia during North African and Tunisian campaign. Assigned to Northwest African Strategic Air Force during Invasion of Sicily and later Italy in 1943. Allocated to Fifteenth Air Force for strategic bombing of Nazi Germany and occupied Europe. Attacked enemy targets primarily in the Balkans; Southern France; Southern Germany and Austria from southern Italy; engaged in shuttle bombing missions to airfields in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1944.[2][3]

Personnel largely demobilized after German capitulation in May 1945; squadron reassigned to the United States and was programmed for conversion to B-29 Superfortess operations and deployment to Pacific Theater, plans canceled after Japanese capitulation in August 1945. Aircraft sent to storage and unit inactivated largely as a paper unit in October 1945.[4][1]

Cold War

The squadron was activated in 1959 as a result of Strategic Air Command phasing out the B-47 Stratojet, and additional squadrons were activated as part of the consolation of Stratojet wings, and the replacement of the B-47 by B-52 Stratofortresses. In March 1961, President John F. Kennedy directed that the phaseout of the B-47 be accelerated. and the squadron was inactivated on 1 January 1962 as part of the drawdown of the USAF B-47 force, with the aircraft were sent to AMARC storage at Davis-Monthan.[5]

Flight Test Squadron

Reactivated as a flight test squadron at Edwards AFB in 1989 taking over the Air Force Flight Test Center Strategic Systems Division (B-52G/H Stratofortress). Also operated UAV test program (MQ-1 Predator) 1994-2000 when the UAV program was realigned. Gained B-1 Lancer program from the 410th Flight Test Squadron in 1991 when the 410th was moved to Palmdale and took over the F-117 Program. Gained B-2 Spirit program from the inactivating 420th Flight Test Squadron on 30 December 1997. [6]


  • Constituted 29th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
Activated on 3 Feb 1942
Re-designated: 419th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 Apr 1942
Re-designated: 419th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, c. 6 Mar 1944
Re-designated: 419th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 5 Aug 1945
Inactivated on 15 Oct 1945
  • Re-designated 419th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 20 Aug 1958
Activated on 1 Dec 1958
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 Jan 1962
  • Consolidated (1 Oct 1992) with the 6519th Test Squadron, which was designated, and activated, on 10 Mar 1989.
Re-designated: 419th Test Squadron on 2 Oct 1992
Re-designated: 419th Flight Test Squadron on 1 Mar 1994.








See also


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