From the racetrack to the battlefield--dauntless, fearless, and exemplar of Semper Fi --she was Reckless, "pride of the Marines."
A Mongolian mare who was bred to be a racehorse, Ah-Chim-Hai, or Flame-of-the-Morning, belonged to a young boy named Kim-Huk-Moon. Read more...
From the racetrack to the battlefield--dauntless, fearless, and exemplar of Semper Fi--she was Reckless, "pride of the Marines."
A Mongolian mare who was bred to be a racehorse, Ah-Chim-Hai, or Flame-of-the-Morning, belonged to a young boy named Kim-Huk-Moon. In order to pay for a prosthetic leg for his sister, Kim made the difficult decision to sell his beloved companion. Lieutenant Eric Pedersen purchased the bodacious mare and renamed her Reckless, for the Recoilless Rifles Platoon, Anti-Tank Division, of the 5th Marines she'd be joining.
The four-legged equine braved minefields and hailing shrapnel to deliver ammunition to her division on the frontlines. In one day alone, performing fifty-one trips up and down treacherous terrain, covering a distance of over thirty-five miles, and rescuing wounded comrades-in-arms, Reckless demonstrated her steadfast devotion to the Marines who had become her herd.
Despite only measuring about thirteen hands high, this pint-sized equine became an American hero. Reckless was awarded two Purple Hearts for her valor and was officially promoted to staff sergeant twice, a distinction never bestowed upon an animal before or since.
Author Robin Hutton has reignited excitement about this nearly forgotten legend, realizing the Sgt. Reckless Memorial Monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, completed in July 2013, and now spurring the creation of a second memorial at Camp Pendleton, California, where Reckless lived out the rest of her days.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-18
- Reviewer: Staff
Animals have been used in war for thousands of years, but few U.S. military animals attained the notoriety of Reckless, a sorrel mare small for her size that joined the Marines during the Korean War, and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. Employed to help move heavy recoilless rifles and ammunition across steep and treacherous terrain, Reckless proved a quick learner, knowing when to take cover and when to proceed. Her true value and dedication was made apparent in the field, where she proved she could do the work of 10 marines. Reckless regularly proved her bravery and endurance, making precarious trips hauling ammunition to soldiers in need, often during heavy fire. Once home, news of her promotion to Staff Sergeant quickly spread, though that notoriety has since faded. Author Hutton aims to correct that, having spent over eight years researching the remarkable story of Reckless and gathering many of the photos shared here; stories of fellow soldiers litter the book, backing up claims of her bravery and playful personality (not to mention her love of food and beer). Hutton's passion and admiration for her subject (she also heads an effort to create a monument to Reckless) shines through in this sparkling and engaging portrait of a most remarkable and courageous animal. Photos. (Aug.)