AT-19 Rainier Squadron
Tacoma Narrows (KTIW), Gig Harbor, Washington
Stinson AT-19, serial number 77-333, was built in November 1944 as an AT-19-VW (under the designation Model V-77 of its parent company, Consolidated-Vultee Corporation) at the Stinson Aircraft factory in Wayne, Michigan (a Detroit suburb). Subsequently, the United States Government provided this AT-19, now carrying the U.S. Army Air Forces serial number 43-44046, to the United Kingdom under the Lend-Lease Program. The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm assigned FB605 to this AT-19.
After being ferried to Newark, New Jersey, disassembled and crated, FB605 was shipped to the East Indies via a transport/cargo ship (lashed atop the ship as “deck cargo”). FB605 was assigned to a Royal Navy Aircraft Repair Yard in Coimbatore, East Indies and subsequently flew in the East Indies and, possibly, Ceylon, from November 1944 through November 1945. This aircraft’s specific use(s) and its assigned squadron(s) are unknown.
What happened to the Stinson AT-19’s when the war ended? Of the 478 AT-19s delivered to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm (249 from first contract and 229 from the second contract), 47 were lost at sea, 79 were lost in accidents and 352 were left in inventory at the end of the war. Subsequently, all 352 AT-19s were returned to the United States and placed for civilian sale at Chambers Field, NAS Norfolk, Virginia.
Royal Navy 605 has been a Commemorative Air Force asset since 1985. She was assigned to the Carolinas Wing of the CAF where she was lovingly maintained for 30 years. After spending some time with the Coyote Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force which is located in Corsicana, TX FB605 has a new home in Washington with the Rainier Squadron.