No. 19 Operational Conversion Unit

No 19 Squadron was formed in Mauripur, near Karachi, on 21 February 1958 with 12 F-86 Sabres. The squadron later moved to Peshawar from where it took part in the 1965 war with India under the command of Squadron Leader Syed Sajjad Haider, popularly known as 'Nosey' Haider. Throughout the war the squadron flew a total of 706 hours in 544 sorties without losing a single aircraft, and succeeded in destroying 14 Indian AF aircraft, 74 tanks, 140 vehicles and 16 artillery guns. As a result of this impressive record, Squadron Leader Haider was awarded Sitara-e-Jurat along with five other pilots.

The squadron also represented the PAF in an Iran-Pakistan armament competition held at Vahdati AB in Iran in September 1978, in which the PAF pilots came on top showing their superior skills.

The squadron participated in the exercise High Mark-89 from Risalwala. That was the last exercise in which F-6 aircraft were used by the unit. The squadron had stood down at PAF Masroor in late 1989, causing its F-6s into storage and the crews to No. 2 Squadron. The squadron was re-equipped with F-7P aircraft at Rafiqui by July 1990, under the command of Wing Commander Gulrez, thus becoming the fourth squadron to do so. It received its first eight F-7Ps by the end of February 1991. After the re-equipment, the squadron carried out Exercise Flat Out on 17 and 19 March 1991. It also participated in Exercise Tornado-VII on 9 and 10 June 1991. By this time the first four FT-7s ordered were operating with No. 20 Squadron. No. 19 Squadron was due for nine of the twin-seat trainers, with three in March, three in April and the remaining three in June. Following final delivery of the FT-7s, No. 19 Squadron took on the role of operational conversion unit (OCU) from No. 20 Squadron, and the number plate from No. 25 'Eagles' OCU at PAF Mianwali, to become the primary front line introduction unit to the PAF. The first four FT-7 aircraft were ferried from Hotian, China and were inducted in the squadron on 7 August 1991. The squadron was tasked to conduct the first Operational Conversion Course on F-7P aircraft. Ten student pilots reported to the squadron for No. 1 OCC, which commenced on 3 September 1991. The squadron was tasked to participate in Exercise Condor-II on 9 December 1991.

DACT was conducted with A-5s in April 1992, and Exercise King Cobra-II on 6 June 1992. Air Vice Marshal Shafique Haider and Air Vice Marshal Aliuddin visited the squadron and flew two sorties each on FT-7. An army exercise named Flash Point was carried out between 8-13 December 1992. The squadron was deployed at Chaklala from 25 January 1993 to 4 February 1993.

The squadron had its first major accident on 31 August 1994, when a student pilot, Flying Officer Imran Yousaf, crashed while trying to land an F-7P aircraft after it lost its canopy. He was fatally injured.

On the night of 13 October 1997, all the aircraft in the squadron were damaged by a halistorm which had struck Mianwali. The year 1998 remained uneventful, and the squadron continued to perform the role of an Operational Conversion Unit. The squadron had successfully graduated a total of 176 pilots till the graduation of 13 OCC.