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.
The Board was able to arrange purchases in spite of the Neutrality Acts, paying for the materiel with Britain's Gold Reserves.
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.
The requests by the Board to US manufacturers stimulated production and design including the development of what would become the P-51 Mustang.
After the establishment of Lend-Lease, aircraft and other weapons could be supplied direct to the UK.
Aircraft bought by the Commission
- Arthur Blaikie Purvis - 1941
- Sir Clive Baillieu - 1942
Other staff of note
- Mary Norton
- Wilfred Hill-Wood
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