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General Sawyer

Real Name: General Samuel "Happy Sam" Sawyer
Occupation: Officer in the United States Army
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Other Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Unrevealed
Place of Death: HYDRA island, Pacific Ocean
Marital Status: Unrevealed; apparently unmarried both during World War II and at the time of his death
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: United States Army; commanding officer of Company "A" (Able) and of its First Strike Force ("Howling Commandos'') during World War II
Base of Operations: An Allied military base in England during World War II, the Pentagon in recent years
Final Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #274

History: Nothing is known about Samuel Sawyer's youth. In the spring of 1940 Sawyer was an American lieutenant in the British army. Apparently it was Sawyer's belief that the aggression of Nazi Germany had to be stopped that led to his joining the British army; at this time the United States had not yet entered World War II.

During this spring Sawyer was given instruction in parachuting by an American civilian, Nick Fury. Fury and his boyhood friend Red Hargrove were a two man stunt flying team in the United States. Hargrove piloted the plane while Fury, a "wing-walker," performed stunts on the wings, climaxing with his stepping off the wings and opening his parachute at the last moment that would still allow him to make a safe landing. Fury and Hargrove had been hired by the British to give their commandos a crash course in parachuting. Sawyer was impressed with Fury and wanted him to join the military effort to stop German expansionism, but Fury did not want to participate inasmuch as Germany had not yet attacked the United States.

During the mission the plane carrying Sawyer, Fury, and Hargrove was downed in Holland. There the three men first met Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader "Dum Dum" Dugan, who was then a strongman in a traveling circus. Fury found the British agent Sawyer had been assigned to rescue, and Fury, Sawyer, Dugan, Hargrove, and the agent all got aboard a small boat to sail back to England. On their way they were attacked by a German plane, which Sawyer downed with gunfire. The plane's own gunfire caused the boat to blow up, but the five passengers were picked up by a British patrol boat, which brought them to England.

Dugan joined the British army, and Fury and Hargrove returned to the United States, where both enlisted in the U.S. Army. A few months later, both Fury and Hargrove were sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the United State's principal base in the mid-Pacific, where Fury was made a sergeant. Hargrove was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, and in response, Fury vowed to battle both the Japanese and the Nazis.

Almost immediately thereafter, the United States declared war on Germany and Japan, and both Sawyer and Dugan were reassigned to the United States Army's Rangers, the American equivalent of Britain's commandos. Sawyer's Ranger Company, which included Dugan, fought in various locations, including North Africa and even European countries occupied by Axis forces. (The Axis powers were Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and imperial Japan.) Finally, Sawyer was wounded on a mission in North Africa just seriously enough to force him to take a desk job for the rest of the war. Now a captain, Sawyer became commanding officer of the U.S. Army's Able ("A") Company, based in Britain.

One of Sawyer's new tasks was to form a new, special squad of rangers. Together with G-2 (military intelligence), Sawyer selected the soldiers who would be assigned to this new squad, known officially as the First Attack Squad. Sawyer went to a good deal of trouble to make sure that Fury became a member of the squad. Dugan became a member as well. Fury was the leader of the First Attack Squad, and was directly responsible to Sawyer. After the squad's first mission, its members were made honorary commandos in the British army, and Sawyer gave the squad the code-name of the "Howling Commandos".

Sawyer was also the commanding officer of two other noteworthy teams of Rangers: the Maulers, led by Sgt. "Bull" McGiveney, and the Deadly Dozen, led at first by Dugan and later by Michael "Combat" Kelly. But Sgt. Fury's Howling Commandos was by far the greatest Ranger team of World War II, with a long series of brilliant successes to their credit. On rare occasions Sawyer accompanied the Howling Commandos on missions.

Sawyer and Fury remained in the army after World War II, and the other Howling Commandos reenlisted during the Korean War in the 1950s. The army allowed the Howling Commandos to be reformed, with Fury as leader, who again was responsible to Sawyer, who was now a colonel. After the Howlers successfully completed their mission to blow up a MIG base, Sawyer made Fury a second lieutenant.

Sawyer and Fury continued to remain in the army, while the other Howlers again returned to civilian life. Sawyer rose to the rank of general and worked with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, while Fury became a colonel and worked for the Central Intelligence Agency.

In 1967 the Howling Commandos reformed once again and performed a successful mission in Vietnam. The Howlers who had gone back to civilian life acted as volunteers for this mission. Fury was again the leader, with Sawyer as his commanding officer.

During an absence of Odin, monarch of the Asgardians, from Asgard, the god Loki took mental control of the Asgardian armies and invaded Washington, D.C. General Sawyer commanded the United States Army forces that opposed Loki's invasion. Sawyer cooperated with Thor and Firelord in battting Loki's forces, and the invasion was finally thwarted when Thor defeated Loki in single combat.

Later, while visiting a social reunion of the Howlers, Sawyer was captured by HYDRA versions of Life Model Decoys that were constructed to appear to be actual human operatives of that subversive organization. (Life Model Decoys are robots designed by scientists in the employ of the international law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D. to resemble human beings in exact outward detail.) Years before, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, Fury's wartime archfoe who led HYDRA, had attempted to blackmail the world into submission with the Death Spore, which spread a lethal disease, Fury, who was now Public Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., thwarted this scheme, Strucker was killed, and everyone else on HYDRAs Pacific base, HYDRA Island, was killed by exposure to the Death Spores. However, Strucker had had a Life Model Decoy of himself constructed to carry on for him in the event of his death. It was this Strucker robot, commanding a large number of other HYDRA LMDs that was responsible for Sawyer's abduction.

The Strucker robot seized control of Grand Forks Air Force in South Dakota and stole and escaped in a B-52 plane that was one of the Strategic Air Command's aerial command centers, which contained remote control equipment with which the United States nuclear missiles could be launched and directed in time of war. The Strucker robot intended to use the missiles to destroy every major site of mineral and oil resources in the world. The robot would then cause a mineral-rich land mass controlled by HYDRA to rise from the ocean floor. The Strucker robot believed that then all the nations of the world would be dependent on HYDRA for these resources, and hence, he would thus achieve world domination.

The Strucker robot needed Sawyer, whom he brought aboard the stolen B-52, to tell him the missiles navigation override code so he could launch the missiles. Sawyer refused to tell him, so the Strucker robot gave an order to bring him a serum he could use to force Sawyer to reveal the code. Sawyer's hands were bound, but before the serum could be administered to him, the general hurled himself towards the plane's destruct lever, hoping to stop the Strucker robot's scheme by blowing up the plane. The Strucker robot stopped Sawyer before he could reach the lever by gripping Sawyer's shoulder and administering a mild electrical shock. However, the shock induced a heart attack in Sawyer.

The B-52 landed at HYDRA Island, where the Strucker robot had been salvaging HYDRAs former headquarters; by this time all the Death Spores that had been released on the island had died. Captain America, who had been present at the Howlers' reunion, arrived on HYDRA Island and rescued Sawyer just as the Strucker robot was about to inject the weakened general with the serum that would force him to reveal the code. Fury and the Howlers also arrived on the island by submarine. Sawyer persuaded Captain America to leave him hidden in an air shaft and to go stop the Strucker robot.

The gravely weakened Sawyer knew that unless he received medical help soon, he would die. But Sawyer also knew that, given enough time, the Strucker robot would learn how to activate the missiles without obtaining the code. Therefore, Sawyer was determined to reach the B-52 and use the destruct lever to blow it up. Donning a HYDRA uniform he took from an LMD that Captain America had knocked "unconscious," Sawyer made his way to the plane, got aboard, and set the destruct mechanism to blow the B-52 up.

The battle of Captain America and the Howling Commandos against the Strucker robot and the HYDRA LMDs was now going on just outside the plane. The Strucker robot was damaged, but Sawyer saw that the robot held a detonator, and the general realized that the robot intended to blow up himself and the other LMDs as soon as the Howlers touched them. Sawyer leapt at the Strucker robot to get the detonator, but the robot set the device off, blowing himself up. Captain America and the Howling Commandos were unharmed, but Sawyer was mortally injured, and the Strucker robot was left in pieces by the blast.

Sawyer warned Fury to escape since he had activated the plane's destruct mechanism. Then Sawyer told Fury, "It's too late for me... You and your howling yahoos may have been the biggest pain in the neck this nursemaid had, but you were the best! I'm proud to have been your commander... and friend." With those words General Sam Sawyer died.

Captain America, Nick Fury, and the other Howling Commandos escaped by submarine before the B-52 blew up. The blast sank HYDRA Island once more.

Soon afterwards, General Sam Sawyer was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The Howling Commandos, wearing their old uniforms as a tribute to their former commanding officer, and Captain America were all present at the burial.

Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 230 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Grey

Strength Level: Sam Sawyer possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in moderate regular exercise. (He engaged in intensive regular exercise when he was still active in combat.)

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Other Abilities: Sam Sawyer was an excellent military leader and a fine hand-to-hand combatant.

Limitations: Sam Sawyer received an injury of an unknown nature in 1942 that prevented him from participating regularly in combat for the rest of his military career.

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