Slugger Dunn was a former heavyweight prize fighter during the 1930s. After retiring from boxing, he became the personal valet and trainer to adventurer/playboy Rod Reilly. Slugger was one of the few people who knew of Rod's dual identity as Firebrand. In 1941, both Slugger and Rod joined the United States Navy, and were stationed aboard the USS Arizona, Reilly as an ensign, and Dunn as an enlisted sailor.[1] They were present on the Hawaiian isle of Oahu in December of that year when the Japanese engaged in a sneak attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Slugger was struck down by strafing fire from a Japanese Zero. Rod tried to pull his friend to safety, but met a similar attack only moments later. Both survived, although Rod Reilly, in a coma, was in considerably worse shape than Slugger.