In early 1940, the British Purchasing Commission ordered a total of 170 Model 339Es in two separate contracts under the British designation Buffalo Mk. I. This was a major turnaround, since as recently as October of 1939 the British Air Ministry had declared the Brewster fighter as unsuitable for RAF use. However, they were deemed suitable for use in the Far East.
The first three production Model 339Es were sent to Great Britain in April of 1941 for trials. The remaining Buffalos of the British order were shipped directly to the Far East to serve with units in Malaya, Singapore and Burma. The first Buffalos arrived in Singapore in the spring of 1941.
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