Two Purple Hearts, a Presidential Citation and More for Sergeant Reckless!

Last year in the lead up to Remembrance/Veterans Day I wrote a post about the War Horse Hero of the Korean War….Sergeant Reckless. This was a mare of great bravery and intelligence.  Here is the text of that previous post.

In  1952 Reckless was bought  by the US Marine Corps to serve as a pack horse for the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Anti Tank Company, of the 5th Marine Regiment in the Korean War.

The chestnut mare of Mongolian breeding was trained in battlefield skills: how to avoid being trapped in barbed wire, how to lie down when under fire, how to run for the bunker upon hearing “incoming”. She soon became friends with the troops and was allowed free run of the camp and spent nights inside with the troops. She had a remarkable appetite and ate scrambled eggs, bacon, chocolate bars, shredded wheat, peanut butter sandwiches and drank Coca-Cola. The camp doctor had to advise that she not be given more than two bottles of Coke a day!

 

Her job was to carry supplies and ammunition and also to evacuate the wounded. She was very good at  stringing out telephone wire from reels of wire on her back. She could do the work of 12 men when doing this. . She quickly learned the routes for supplies and would travel to deliver supplies on her own.  In the Battle for Outpost Vegas in 1953 she had her finest hour.  In a single day she made 51 solo trips to  carry ammunition and carried a total of 9,000 lbs. She was also wounded in combat twice.

 

 

After the war she was decorated with two Purple Hearts, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal ,a Presidential Unit Citation with bronze star, National Defense Service medal, United Nations Korea Medal, a Navy Unit Commendation. For formal events members of her unit would  place these awards on her fancy horse blanket to dress her up for the occasion.

She was promoted to Staff Sergeant on August 31, 1959, at Camp Pendleton, CA. At the ceremony  she was honored with a 19-gun salute and a 1,700-man parade of Marines from her wartime unit. 

She saw out her retirement at Camp Pendleton in California and died at the age or 19 or 20. Recently a memorial statue was unveiled at Camp Pendleton. For more information on that please see this Defense Department news release with photos.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/213028/camp-pendleton-unveils-staff-sgt-reckless-monument  

sgt_reckless_with_communication_wire

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma Cownie says:

    Great horse. They are such fab animals and not always given the recognition they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes she was a great horse and I appreciate your comment as the purpose in my writing the posts this week about the war horses is to let people know how they served. Thanks you for commenting.

      Like

  2. Laleh Chini says:

    Thanks for sharing. Animals are truly incredible 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome. I so enjoy your stories in your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Laleh Chini says:

        Thanks dear Anne😍

        Liked by 1 person

  3. (HorseLover4Ever) Elizabeth says:

    Sgt. Reckless is just amazing!!! I read a book about her, and it was wonderful..and thank you for sharing this with us, Anne!! :):)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      you’re welcome, she is amazing.

      Like

  4. Thanks for the share. I enjoyed the story, hadn’t realized the awards and medals were possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      When they brought the mare back, by ship, from Korea, they put her decorations onto her “dress” blanket. Apparently she wasn’t having any of that and bit and chewed the blanket into tatters! But later she got used to appearances in her full regalia.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s amazing what animals are capable of and how they probably know more than we think they do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        In some respects they do know more. They may not be IT savvy but as Reckless proved they can be given a task and work independently even in a war scenario.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      She was pretty amazing! If you have a good mare they will give 110% and Reckless was one of those mares.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We could certainly see the difference between male and female in this instance, can’t we?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathleen Richardson says:

    Thank you for posting this story of courage.

    **/Kathleen Richardson/** * Sunny Days Hanoverians 6179 Andrews Road, RR # 1 Kendal, Ontario, Canada, L0A 1E0 (c) 905-429-1642* *http://www.SunnydaysHanoverians.com*

    *Expecting 2018 Foals by Buckingham, Morricone, Romeo, Sir Gregory, and more … *

    */You can’t always choose the music, but you can choose whether to dance/ *

    Liked by 1 person

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