Sgt Reckless. Hero of the Marine Corps.

For the past several days I have reposted some of my older posts about horses in war as a way to remember them leading up to Remembrance Day on Nov. 11. Today I would like to look at a brighter story and honor a horse hero who survived the Korean War.

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.

sgt_reckless_with_communication_wire
Photo Wikipedia Commons  Sgt Reckless

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.In 2016 a memorial statue was unveiled at Camp Pendleton.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma Cownie says:

    What weird and wonderful list of things she liked to eat! And I thought tourists were daft for offering Gower ponies chips! (They ate them by the way)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Emma I have NEVER heard of a horse eating bacon before. I’m surprised it didn’t make her sick!

      Like

  2. Marsha says:

    What an amazing horse. They really are so smart. Thank you for education the world about this wonderful animal, Anne. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Marsha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marsha says:

        You’re welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nine thousand pounds in one day! It’s very good to hear she had a retirement at Camp Pendleton and I’m sure they took good care of her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      They did and as she was one of them they had tremendous respect for her too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Judy says:

    Because of your post, I ended up reading two books about her, visiting a statue of her at the Kentucky Horse Park, and joining a FB group for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Ah !that is wonderful Judy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read an article about Reckless once. She’s so pretty and such an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes she was an inspiration. What a brave little mare!!

      Liked by 1 person

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