James was a genetically superior child abducted by the UNSC for the SPARTAN-II Program and replaced by a flash clone. James first met John-117 and the rest of his friends when Samuel-034 chose him for a mission during one of Chief Petty Officer Mendez's training exercises on Reach. In 2523, he was brutally beaten by the Marine trainers of Tango Company, who claimed that he "fell down a flight of stairs" in a one-story building. Years later, he was one of the soldiers that survived the SPARTAN-II augmentations without any adverse effects.
Sigma Octanus IV
James journeyed to Sigma Octanus IV in 2552 with John-117, Kelly-087, Frederic-104, Joshua-029, and a few other Spartans to reinforce Corporal Harland and his Marines at Côte d'Azur in fighting the Covenant. James served as a scout for the team at first, locating Grunt patrols and silencing them before they could find the rest of the UNSC forces. Later in the battle, James became the first Spartan to be critically wounded as a direct result of Hunters, getting an arm blown off from the elbow down by a Hunter's Assault Cannon. James passed out on the trip back to the Marine Base Camp.
Battle of Reach
When the Covenant attacked Reach, James was a part of a team lead by John-117 to destroy navigation data on UNSC Circumference that could lead the Covenant to Earth. John chose James to be a part of the team because he "never gave up."
During the battle on Circumference, a needle from a Needler landed on James' T-PACK and detonated. The explosion set James' T-PACK off and propelled him into space. John tried to raise him on the COM, but received only fragmented messages from him. Scans conducted after the battle were unable to find him. He is considered MIA.
- James lost his left arm while fighting a Hunter, but later was said to salute John with his left hand and was able to fight. No mention is made of his missing arm. This error was fixed in the 2010 reissue of Halo: The Fall of Reach.
- James has the lowest service number of any known SPARTAN-II.
- He is one of the few SPARTAN-IIs to be truly Missing in Action.
- James is the first of four characters in the Halo Universe to lose an arm.
- James wore the EOD variant of the Mjolnir Armor.
- Halo: The Fall of Reach (First appearance)
- Halo: First Strike (Mentioned only)
- Halo: Fall of Reach