British Purchasing Commission
Also known at some time as the "Anglo-French Purchasing Board", it was based in New York City, where it arranged the production and purchase of armaments from North American manufacturers. After the 1940 French Surrender it became the 'British Purchasing Commission'. The Commission was also responsible for taking over orders that had originally been placed by France, Belgium, and later by Norway, after those country's capitulation.
The Board had been established before the war buying aircraft such as the Lockheed Super Electra.
Facing an aeroplane shortage during the early stages of World War II, in January 1940, the British government established the British Direct Purchase Commission to purchase US planes that would help supplement domestic plane production. By December 1940 British cash orders for aircraft had exceeded $1,200,000,000.
The requests by the Board to US manufacturers stimulated production and design including the development of what would become the P-51 Mustang, which was designed for the Commission.
After the establishment of Lend-Lease, aircraft and other weapons could be supplied direct to the UK.
Aircraft bought by the Commission
- Bell Model 14/P-400 - originally named by RAF 'Caribou', entered RAF service as 'Bell Airacobra'
- Boeing B-17C - entered RAF service as 'Boeing Fortress'
- Brewster B-339 - Belgian order - entered RAF service as 'Brewster Buffalo'
- Brewster B-340 - Netherlands and UK order - entered limited UK service as 'Brewster Bermuda'
- Consolidated LB-30 - French order later taken over by UK - entered RAF service as 'Consolidated Liberator'
- Consolidated 28-5 - entered RAF service as 'Consolidated Catalina'
- Curtiss SBC-4 - French order of 50 aircraft for Aeronavale, last five delivered to UK and given service name 'Curtiss Cleveland'
- Curtiss P-36 Hawk - French order, entered RAF service as 'Curtiss Mohawk'
- Curtiss P-40 Warhawk - entered RAF service as 'Curtiss Tomahawk' or 'Curtiss Kittyhawk'
- Curtiss P-46 - ordered by UK but later cancelled
- Douglas DB-7/DB-19 - French order - entered RAF service as 'Douglas Boston' or 'Douglas Havoc'
- Douglas DC-2 - several aircraft purchased by UK, including DC-2 prototype ex-TWA NC13301, and used in India.
- Grumman F4F - Belgian order - entered Fleet Air Arm (FAA) service as 'Grumman Martlet', later 'Grumman Wildcat'
- Lockheed Hudson - designed for RAF based on Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra
- Lockheed Ventura - designed for RAF - improved Hudson
- Lockheed Model 322A/Model 322B - Franco-British order - tested by RAF and given service name 'Lockheed Lightning' but order later cancelled
- Glenn Martin Model 167 - French order - entered RAF service as 'Martin Maryland'
- North American NA-57/NA-66 - Franco-British order for improved NA-64/Harvard
- North American NA-73 - designed for RAF - entered service as 'North American Mustang'
- Northrop A-17 - French order, transferred to UK - declared obsolete, transferred to SAAF for training - allocated RAF service name 'Northrop Nomad'
- Northrop N-3PB - Norwegian order, transferred to UK and used by RNAF in Little Norway, Canada, and Iceland
- Vought-Sikorsky 156 - French order, later taken over by UK and entered limited Royal Navy (RN) service as 'Vought-Sikorsky Chesapeake' 
- Vultee P-66 - Swedish order, cancelled by US State Department after Invasion of Norway - order taken over by Britain and given service name 'Vultee Vanguard', order poss. later cancelled
- Vultee Model 72 - designed for France - order taken over and entered RAF service as 'Vultee Vengeance'
Other staff of note
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