Skip to comments.Sgt. Reckless - Korean War Horse Hero
Posted on 07/06/2011 9:04:45 AM PDT by Daffynition
The story of Reckless is not only remarkable - it is unusual. And once you learn about her, you will see why the Marine Corps not only fell in love with her - but honored her and promoted her every chance they got. And it wasnt just the Marines that served with her in the trenches that honored her - her last promotion to Staff Sergeant was by Gen. Randolph McC Pate - the Commandant of the entire Marine Corps. You cant get higher than that in the Marines.
Reckless joined the Marines to carry ammunition to the front lines for the 75mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines - and she quickly earned the love and respect of all of the Marines that served with her. Lt. Eric Pedersen paid $250 of his own money to a young Korean boy, Kim Huk Moon, for her. The only reason Kim sold his beloved horse was so he could buy an artificial leg for his older sister, Chung Soon, who lost her leg in a land mine accident.
Kims loss was the Marines gain.
It was not only Reckless heroics that endeared the Marines to her - it was her incredible antics off of the battlefield. You will not believe her antics when she was being ignored, or if she was hungry lets just say you never wanted to leave your food unattended. As legendary as she was for her heroics her appetite became even more legendary. This horse had a mind of her own not to mention, being very determined.
Reckless had a voracious appetite. She would eat anything and everything but especially scrambled eggs and pancakes in the morning with her morning cup of coffee. She also loved cake, Hershey bars, candy from the C rations, and Coca Cola even poker chips, blankets and hats when she was being ignored or if she was trying to just prove a point.
One of Reckless finest hours came during the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953. At the time of this battle it was written that, The savagery of the battle for the so-called Nevada Complex has never been equaled in Marine Corps history. This particular battle was to bring a cannonading and bombing seldom experienced in warfare twenty-eight tons of bombs and hundreds of the largest shells turned the crest of Vegas into a smoking, death-pocked rubble. And Reckless was in the middle of all of it.
Enemy soldiers could see her as she made her way across the deadly no mans land rice paddies and up the steep 45-degree mountain trails that led to the firing sites. Its difficult to describe the elation and the boost in morale that little white-faced mare gave Marines as she outfoxed the enemy bringing vitally needed ammunition up the mountain, Sgt. Maj. James E. Bobbitt recalled.
During this five-day battle, on one day alone she made 51 trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites, 95% of the time by herself. She carried 386 rounds of ammunition (over 9,000 pounds almost FIVE TONS! -- of ammunition), walked over 35 miles through open rice paddies and up steep mountains with enemy fire coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. And as she so often did, she provided a shield for several Marines who were trapped trying to make their way up to the front line. She was wounded twice, but that didnt stop or slow her down.
What she did in this battle not only earned her the respect of all that served with her, but it got her promoted to Sergeant. Her heroics defined the word Marine. She was BELOVED by the Marines. They took care of her better than they took care of themselves throwing their flak jackets over her to protect her when incoming was heavy, risking their own safety.
Her Military 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 Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she wore proudly on her red and gold blanket.
There has never been a horse like Reckless, and her story needs to be preserved.
*Nothing* on earth is as soul-healing and therapeutic as a good bareback ride on a fast horse.
All your stress flows down its body into its legs and the horse stomps it right into the ground.
I never had ‘issues’ until I left home and stopped riding every day, rain or shine, hot or cold.
If I hadn’t had my horses during the “pedo uncle’ period, I know I would’ve gone completely insane.
[angels without wings, again]
Save the money you’d spend on a shrink and get a horse, instead.
No, I never heard of Woyjek.
That has got to be the most unusual war critter story, yet!....:)
Able Seacat Simon, British Royal Nav
In 1949, during the last days of the Chinese Civil War, the British had a frigate stationed up the Yangtzee River, near the Nationalist capital, to evacuate their embassy if it became necessary. In April 1949, HMS Amethyst was moving up the river to take over this duty when she came under heavy fire and went aground. Despite being injured in the attack, Simon, the ship's mascot, quickly went to work, fighting off the thousands of rats that swarmed aboard the damaged vessel.
When the ship was finally freed and limped back to England, Simon was placed in standard quarantine, but succumbed to an infection of his wounds a few weeks later. Thousands attended his funeral, including the entire crew of the Amethyst.
May 1948 - November 1949
Awarded Dickin Medal
Died 28th November 1949
Throughout the Yangtze Incident
His behaviour was of the Highest Order
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