Why Wildcat=Martlet, Avenger=Tarpon but others unchanged?

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Admiral Beez

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Oct 21, 2019
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Why did the Brits use different names for some US aircraft and not others? It's not as if the RN/RAF had aircraft of the same name in service that might confuse things.

Examples include:

Wildcat = Martlet
Avenger = Tarpon (official channels only)
Buccaneer = Bermuda
Vindicator = Chesapeake
Havoc = Boston

A lot of this name changing refers to RN aircraft use. So why did the Corsair and Hellcat not get renamed?
 
Why did the Brits use different names for some US aircraft and not others? It's not as if the RN/RAF had aircraft of the same name in service that might confuse things.

Examples include:

Wildcat = Martlet
Avenger = Tarpon (official channels only)
Buccaneer = Bermuda
Vindicator = Chesapeake
Havoc = Boston

A lot of this name changing refers to RN aircraft use. So why did the Corsair and Hellcat not get renamed?
 
Why did the Brits use different names for some US aircraft and not others?
I would reverse the question, when did the US officially name the aircraft in question? The RAF had the Tomahawk and the Kittyhawk, the USAAF had the Warhawk. What was the A-20 called in the US in 1940? The P-47 was the Thunderbolt before the prototype first flew in 1941 at least unofficially. The Gloster Thunderbolt became the Meteor when they later found out about the P-47. The Brewster Buffalo name came from? Harvard versus Texan, the RAF stayed with their name all war. And so on.

If you look at the different British names they were all early war aircraft, then comes how established they were, how many the British had when deciding whether changing to a common name was worth it.

The Hellcat was allocated the name Gannet, but the name Hellcat was in use when the first imports arrived in May 1943. The summary of 1943 imports uses Tarpon/Avenger. Interestingly the 30 F4F for Greece are listed under Wildcat, otherwise it is not until May 1943 the RN imports switch from Martlet.

Anyone really expecting consistency?
 
Initially the names were to prevent confusion in reporting to differentiate the same airframe in different navies. Later they were standardised to prevent confusion in servicing airframes. Changed to the US names to prevent confusion in ordering parts across the navies.
 
I assume Mustang was meant to be a nod to its American roots. Same as the Douglas A-20 Havoc becoming the Boston, as I doubt its small UK namesake had any influence.

Are any other WW2 era aircraft named from any nation after horses? List of horse breeds - Wikipedia

Hi

'Havoc' and 'Boston' were both name given by the British to versions of the DB-7. Havoc was used for night fighter or intruder versions of mainly Boston II conversions, the name being applied in late 1940. Boston was used for bomber variants. The USAAF used the name Havoc for their later A-20 attack versions.

Mike
 

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