First Appearance: Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos
#1 (May 1963).
Appearances: Numerous others.
Years Active: 1939-present.
The "Howling Commandos" were a group of specially trained U.S. Rangers, the "First Attack Squad," commanded by Lt. "Happy Sam" Sawyer, who were formed in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. They consisted of Sgt. Nick Fury (their eventual leader), former circus strongman Corporal "Dum Dum" Dugan, Sgt. Jim Morita, Private Gabriel Jones, Private Reb "Rebel" Ralston, Private Izzy Cohen, Private Dino Manelli, Private Percival Pinkerton, and Private Eric Koenig.
The Commandos fought in World War Two, going up against some of the worst that the Axis had to offer and teaming up with the likes of Captain Savage, and were active in the Korean War. Morita left the Commandos to lead the Nisei Squadron.
The Howling Commandos had varied post-Korean War careers. Nick Fury became SHIELD's leader; Dum Dum Dugan became his second in command. Reb Ralston became a Senator and got involved with the V-Battalion. Gabe Jones became a SHIELD agent. Izzy Cohen went into the automobile business. Percy Pinkerton's post-war career is not known, but he was not present at Nick Fury's recent funeral (don't worry, he got better), which may mean that he has since died. Eric Koenig also became a SHIELD agent.
Useful Howling Commandos Site
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos Yet another good site from Don Markstein's Toonopedia.