F2A Buffalo airplane model. The Brewster F2A Buffalo, the U.S. Navy's first monoplane shipboard fighter, saw brief combat service during the first half-year of the Pacific War. Built in 1936-38, Brewster's XF2A-1 prototype bested the Grumman XF4F-2 in a competition to replace the Grumman F3F biplane fighter. A production contract for F2A-1 production aircraft followed in June 1938. Production difficulties, a continuing problem throughout the life of the Brewster company, delayed service introduction until late 1939, when F2A-1s began to join USS Saratoga's Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3). Only eleven of the fifty-four F2A-1s entered Navy service. The rest were modified and sold to Finland, where they served with considerable success against Soviet aircraft during 1941-44 and against the Germans in 1944-45. Other versions of the F2A were subsequently employed against the Japanese by the British Royal Air Force and the Netherlands East Indies Army Air Corps.