Recalling RECKLESS, Noted War Horse

Brave, Smart Little Horse Amazing Warrior in Korean War

In 1997, Life Magazine created a special edition listing the 100 greatest heroes of all time. This list included George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and a horse, named Reckless.

Reckless on assignment in Korea, 1953. (USMC)

The year was 1952. Not even a decade removed from WWII, The Greatest Generation once again found itself embroiled in combat, this time, in the Korean Peninsula. Searching for a pack horse to aid in their defense of the South, Lt. Eric Pedersen of the USMC purchased a 14h chestnut mare off the racetrack in Seoul for $250. The seller was a young stableboy who needed money to buy his sister a prosthetic leg after she was severely injured by a land mine.

The mare, predominantly Mongolian and believed to be crossed with either Thoroughbred or Arabian blood, was immediately turned over to the Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines, where she began training for hauling ammunition to the front lines.

She proved to be a quick study and earned the name Reckless for her willingness to endure the physical and mental hardships of combat. One battle in particular, The Battle of Outpost Vegas, cemented the mare’s status as an all-time American hero. As detailed by author Robin Hutton in the book, Sgt. Reckless: America’s War HorseCONTINUED

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