Bruce Carter III obtained his superhuman powers when the ghost of his ancestor Bruce Carter I, a soldier from the American Revolution, appeared to him and showed him the location of a magical cloak that could give the wearer invulnerability and super strength. Only Carter III's girlfriend, Joan Farwell, knows of his dual identity. The Fighting Yank fought against the Axis Powers during World War II. The ghost of Bruce Carter I became his guide in his war against evil.
The Fighting Yank was part of the O.S.S. in World War II. Leading a team called the 'Superpowers' he fought against the Axis with the help of his ancestor's ghost, Bruce Cater I, who also lead him to believe that there was a supernatural evil that was taking over the world which had sparked the war. His ancestor also convinced him that he could stop the war and all of the evil in the world by trapping his superhero allies inside the Urn of Pandora.
Unfortunately for Yank none of his fellow heroes really believed in him and so he captured them without their consent. He started with one of his closest friends, the Flame , believing the Flame had to lead the way for the other heroes. This left the heroes in limbo for over sixty years until an elderly Fighting Yank was visited by the American Spirit who revealed to the Fighting Yank that he had been deceived and that by trapping all of the world's heroes in the Urn, he had actually doomed the world he was trying to save. He then explained that in order to save the world, he must again find the Urn of Pandora and free the Heroes trapped inside.
With the help of the Green Lama the Fighting Yank found the Urn and broke it, freeing all of the heroes that were trapped inside.
Trying to make amends for his past transgressions, the Fighting Yank aided the newly freed heroes in a battles against the Dynamic Family in which he was accidentally shot in the heart by the Arrow, who became confused after being released from the Urn. The American Spirit then appears and tells the dying Yank that his fellow heroes are in danger, and that the only way to help them is to take his ancestor’s curse upon himself. But feeling guilt for the wrong he has done in his time as the Fighting Yank's mentor, the ancestor refuses to let him do it.
Not listening to his ancestors protests, the Fighting Yank takes the curse upon himself and transforms into a semi-solid ghost. He then goes to the Middle East to aid in the rescue of his fellow heroes, ultimately lending his cloak of power to the Green Lama to boost his powers so he can teleport everyone to safety.
In the Fighting Yanks latest adventure, the American Spirit shows up to inform the Yank that a rebellious anti-hero, the Revolutionary, is the latest in a long line of Patriots to serve the Flag. He explains that though the Revolutionary's methods are barbaric, his intentions are patriotic and the Yank needs to go and confront him on his own terms.
When the Yank arrives he is confronted by the Revolutionary who gets the upper hand in a quick battle. After the Revolutionary, being young and inexperienced, jumps at the Yank and accidentally takes himself out of the fight the American Spirit counsels the Yank, "If you see him as a adversary -- you would be sorely mistaken. Look past the aggression, his bravado, to what he represents...He is a challenge. He is not the enemy. He is like a newborn to this life. As any true revolutionary would be, he has the fire inside, but no discipline. That is where you come in, Bruce Carter . . for he is one of us. He simply doesn't realize it yet. He isn’t evil, just misguided, the latest in a long line of patriots and need guidance."
Seeing that he needs to be a guide for the Revolutionary, and that the situation is already out of hand, the Yank has a conversation with the Revolutionary, offering him a chance to leave, which he takes. The Fighting Yanks' role as a mentor to the Revolutionary cements the Revolutionary as the next, and potentially greatest, patriot to serve the flag.
While alive the Fighting Yanks' Cloak of Power granted him Super-Strength and Invulnerability.
Now deceased, his powers have changed with his power coat being the one with super-strength and invulnerability and Bruce Carter III's power's including intangibility and foresight.
In the Terra Obscura Universe, Fighting Yank was a member of SMASH. His daughter, Carol Carter, became his sidekick the Fighting Spirit. After his death she took up the name of the Fighting Yank, and he became her guide, as Carter I had done for him.