The fighter was developed by Boeing to replace the Boeing F3B and F2B of the US Navy. Though it used the same engine as the F3B, it was faster and more manoeuvrable because of less weight and a smaller size. The P-12 was first flown on 25th June 1928.
The P-12 was delivered from the year 1929 to 1932 to the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and a carrier-based variant, under the specification F4B-1 was delivered to the US Navy, of which it became the flag-ship plane between the two World Wars. And because of high numbers of built aircraft it was a commercial success for Boeing, as well.
The P-12 was the last biplane-fighter aircraft used by the United States of America, some aircraft stayed operational until 1941, aircraft that had been exported to Thailand remained in service until 1949, depending on rumours.