James Fletcher was once the patriotic hero known as the American Eagle. He served in this capacity during World War I. Following the war, he remained with the military and eventually rose to the rank of Colonel. In late 1940, Colonel Fletcher was one of the chief architects behind Project: Rebirth, along with General Chester Phillips and Doctor Abraham Erskine. Fletcher was provincial in weeding out undesirable applicants for the program and supported young Steve Rogers as the final candidate for the project.

On January 27th, 1941, Doctor Erskine approached Colonel Fletcher and expressed his concerns over the project’s secrecy. Having already divided the formula for his Super Soldier Serum amongst his peers, he entrusted Fletcher with the full formula as well as the components of his Vita-Ray technology.

On March 10th of that year, Fletcher was present when Doctor Erskine successfully implemented the Super Soldier Serum on Steve Rogers, transforming him into a muscle-bound power house. A Nazi infiltrator named Heinz Kruger assassinated Erskine, but was killed himself only moments later.

In the days that followed, all of the benefactors of Erskine’s work were systematically assassinated by agents of the Red Skull, known as the Death Squad. Fletcher was the only one left who possessed the full secrets of Project: Rebirth.

In November of 1941, Fletcher was part of a program to re-establish Project: Rebirth. The Red Skull sent the Death Squad to the laboratory facility where they kidnapped Fletcher as well as Lieutenant Cynthia Glass. They were taken to a secret hideout where Fletcher was tortured and interrogated at length, but he did not give up the secrets of Project: Rebirth. Fletcher escaped captivity and was pursued by Blitzkrieg. They quickly caught up with him and apprehended Fletcher a second time outside the Smyth Diner. They brought him to a Nazi stronghold in Paris, France, where they continued to interrogate him. A man known as the "Master Interrogator" administered several drugs to make Fletcher more agreeable. Fletcher maintained his resolve, but knew it was only a matter of time before the drugs would force him to reveal the truth about the Super Soldier Serum and Professor Erskine's Vita-Rays. He managed to break through his bonds and dive through the laboratory window. He fell several stories to the ground and was killed on impact. Captain America arrived on the scene, but was too late to save the American patriot's life.[1]

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