Categorized | History, National

Veterans Day– and the Story of Reckless

 

 

A Veteran Horse Hero You Never Knew Of 

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

You’ve heard of the famous racing ones:  Seabiscuit,
Secretariat, and War Admiral.  But there’s one horse–
a military hero– that you haven’t heard.  It’s the story of
Reckless,
the little chestnut Mongolian mare.

Reckless was a pack horse during the Korean War and she carried recoilless rifles, ammunition and supplies to Marines.  This by itself wasn’t too unusual; lots of animals were pressed into service doing pack chores in many wars before Korea.

But Reckless did something more.

During the battle for a location called Outpost Vegas in 1953, this mare made 51 trips up and down the hill.  On the way up, she carried ammunition.  On the way down, she carried wounded soldiers.
 
What was so amazing about that?

She made every one of those trips without anyone leading her.  Relentless artillery rounds fell around at her at the rate of 500 per hour.  The fighting was so intense that only two men made it out alive without wounds.

We can imagine a horse carrying a wounded soldier, being smacked on the rump at the top of the hill, and heading back to the “safety” of the rear.  It’s harder, though,  to imagine the same horse loaded down with ammunition trudging back to the chaotic battlefield under enemy fire and exploding heavy artillery. 

Making 51 of those trips in the blazing battle is unheard of.  How many horses would even make it back once, let alone return to the soldiers in the field?  Reckless did it without fail, every single time, on her own.

Reckless walked 35 miles  and carried 9,000 pounds of equipment that day, and while exhausted and wounded twice, she kept her duty transporting the wounded faithfully throughout.  Many men survived because of her fearless actions.
 
She became a national hero, covered by Life magazine and the Saturday Evening Post.  She was promoted by the Marines
to the rank of Sergeant and later, Staff Sergeant, in her
career.

After the Korean War, Reckless was brought back to the United States in 1954.  She retired at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in 1960 where her commanding General issued the following order:  “She was never to carry any more weight on her back except her own blankets.”

Reckless died in 1968 at the age of 20 as a full-fledged Marine with full military honors. 

Reckless’ decorations included two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she proudly wore on her scarlet and
gold blanket.

She was quite a courageous and hardworking gal, fondly looked after and loved by her unit.   Lieutenant General Randolph M. Pate reminisced later:

“I first saw this little lady when the First Marine Division was in reserve for a brief period.

I was surprised at her beauty and intelligence, and believe it or not, her esprit de corps. Like any other Marine, she was enjoying a bottle of beer with her comrades.

She was constantly the center of attraction and was fully aware of her importance.  If she failed to receive the attention she felt her due, she would deliberately walk into a group of Marines and, in effect, enter the conversation.  It was obvious the Marines loved her.”

There’s a great deal more to the story of Reckless.  If you’d like to read more of her amazing and forgotten story here’s the best and detailed article that we could find, located in the Marines Leatherneck magazine archives  of 1992.

It’s a very good read.

Please feel free to  pass this story onto others–  fellow Veterans, friends, and equestrians.

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you for your service, Veterans.  This story is for you– and to veterans Patrick, James, and Jacob of Medford.

5 Responses to “Veterans Day– and the Story of Reckless”

  1. robin hutton says:

    Please visit the Sgt Reckless website – http://www.SgtReckless.com. Also join her Facebook Fan club or like her Facebook page to be kept up with the latest developments. There will be a memorial dedicated to her next summer, July 2013, and I have written a book and screenplay on her as well. So if you are a fan, please join or like to learn more! Thanks for the great article!

  2. Skippy says:

    Thank you, Robin. Reckless’ story is a fascinating and interesting one alright, one that we enjoyed doing. The story is being passed around our horse community now, I understand.

    Interested readers can also find out more at your site that you mentioned: SgtReckless.com. It will make for a good book and movie– it’s a great story wanting to be told.

    Congratulations, good luck, and best of wishes to you, Robin.

  3. Sheila says:

    The horse community and others love this story. She was an amazing horse indeed. Cannot wait to see a movie about her. Try asking Joe Camp (Benji creator) if he could help you do the movie… Good Luck!

    • Anne says:

      I didn’t wear combat boots but a sailor’s cap instead. That still count? I did check into joining the Army reserve lately and they won’t take a single parent.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] If you enjoyed this story, you might like Reckless, The Mongolian Mare [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Word: An Atlanta mother writes Barack Obama about testing
    Washington Post - The policies currently promoted by your Department of Education are actually hurting – not helping– schools like ours. It is clear we will reduce schools’ efficacy if public education remains fixated on tests that only measure limited concepts – tests that regularly relegate less advantaged children into the “bottom half” and limit their ac […]
  • Government highway trust fund almost broke
    Washington Examiner - On the road in a tour bus this week, the U.S. transportation secretary is spreading some bad news: The government's Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke. If allowed to run dry, that could set back or shut down projects across the country, force widespread layoffs of construction workers and delay needed repairs and improvements.Antho […]
  • Jazz break
    John Pizzarelli plays "I Got Rythmn […]
  • The key-door formula
    Futility ClosetAfter observing security measures at a number of organizations, University of California psychologist Robert Sommer reflected that a person’s status seems to be tied to his keyring:S is a person’s status within the organization, D is the number of doors he must open to perform his job, and K is the number of keys he carries. A janitor who can […]
  • Gravestones of note
    And the epitaph of Dr. Fred Roberts in Pine Log Cemetery, Brookland, Ark.:OFFICE UP STAIRS […]
  • Furthermore....
    Passings:  John Judge […]
  • Feds to make $12 billion a year off of student loans
    Popular Resistance - The U.S. Department of Education is forecast to generate $127 billion in profit over the next decade from lending to college students and their families, according to the Congressional Budget Office.Beginning in the 2015-16 academic year, students and their families are forecast to pay more to borrow from the department than they did pri […]
  • Young in rich, western world more pessimistic than those in developing countries
    Guardian - An Ipsos Mori survey released  has found that young adults in rich, western countries are less optimistic about the future than their counterparts in developing countries. While people in Europe, Australia, North America and Japan largely felt that the younger generation were unlikely to be better off than their baby boomer predecessors, those pol […]
  • Census revisions will make Obamacare stats more muddy
    The New York Times: Census Survey Revisions Mask Health Law EffectsThe Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said. The cha […]
  • Terror Alert
    Onion - Putting the nation on alert against what it has described as a “highly credible terrorist threat,” the FBI announced today that it has uncovered a plot by members of al-Qaeda to sit back and enjoy themselves while the United States collapses of its own accord.Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its num […]
  • How Canada controls election rigging
    Vox - "Canadian reapportionment was highly partisan from the beginning until the 1960s," writes Charles Paul Hoffman in the Manitoba Law Journal. This "led to frequent denunciations by the media and opposition parties. Every ten years, editorial writers would condemn the crass gerrymanders that had resulted." "Independent commissions […]
  • Federal judge strikes down most restrictive abortion law
    Common DreamsA federal judge struck down North Dakota's "fetal heartbeat" law, seen as the most restrictive abortion ban in the country.The law, House Bill 1456, essentially banned abortions at six weeks. Barring a medical emergency, the law said that an abortion could not be performed if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen as […]
  • Another Clinton crook pal pleads guilty
    PoliticoA prominent New York hotel magnate who was a top bundler for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign pled guilty in federal court Thursday to making more than $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions and to witness tampering.Sant Chatwal, 70, admitted using employees and vendors for his hotels as straw donors to avoid limits dic […]
  • Trouble in the Commons
    Daily MailCommons Speaker John Bercow has claimed that women MPs have stopped attending Prime Minister’s Questions because of the rowdy atmosphere.He said that several female politicians have been put off by the ‘histrionics and cacophony of noise’ when David Cameron is quizzed every Wednesday.Mr Bercow suggested that ‘seasoned parliamentarians’ boycotted th […]
  • Word: A worried teacher
    Alan Jones, Progressive - Worrying is not my thing.  That’s my wife’s department.  And she’s really good at it.  She tells me I am a Pollyanna, an unrealistically optimistic person, and for the most part, she’s right.  But, I’m worried.I’m worried about our country.  I don’t like to believe that people deliberately do things that will cause other people harm […]