James Buchanan Barnes was born in Shelbyville, Indiana in 1925. He is an orphan, the son of a soldier killed in training at U.S. Army Camp Lehigh in Virginia just before the United States' entry into World War II. As a result, he is unofficially adopted by the camp as a mascot. Nicknamed "Bucky", he takes to wearing a uniform and becoming savvy with the ins and outs of military life, even though he is a teenager. It was at Lehigh that he meets and befriends Private Steven Rogers, who by all appearances is the clumsiest soldier in the camp. This was at the same time that reports of the then-mysterious Captain America begin to appear in news magazines, and Barnes eagerly devours the accounts of this new hero. In 1940, Bucky accidentally walked in on Steve Rogers changing into his uniform, thus discovering his friend was Captain America and insisted that he join him. He underwent extensive training and was assigned to be Captain America's partner. The military justified putting a 15-year-old in harm's way by using him as a symbol to rally the youth of America (as revealed in Captain America vol. 5, #12, Dec 2005). They fight the Red Skull together, and Captain America accepts Bucky as his partner. Together, Captain America and Bucky fight Nazis both at home and abroad, as a duo and as part of the superhero team known as the Invaders, fighting Master Man in their first mission. Barnes also teams up with the sidekicks of other heroes in a group called the Young Allies. Additionally, Bucky was retconned in 1976 as the organizer of the flashback World War II super-team the Liberty Legion, set between the formations of the Invaders and the post-war All-Winners Squad. He was also briefly one of the Kid Commandos at this time. Bucky served as an advance scout for Captain America and the Invaders, often being assigned tasks that none of the heroes could be seen doing.