Statue For Sgt. Reckless, The Heroic Horse Who Saved Lives And Supplied The Troops In The Korean War

A horse that did not seem to dislike beer, scrambled eggs, and candy bars was honored recently at Camp Pendleton with a bronze statue by the U.S. Marine Corps. This was Staff Sgt. Reckless, who  gained notoriety during the Korean War for transporting wounded Marines from the front lines and returning with ammunition and supplies.

In March 1953 in the Battle of Outpost Vegas, she made 51 journeys in one day to the front lines, hauling more than 4-1/2 tons of ammunition, according to author Robin Hutton who wrote a book about Sgt. Reckless in addition to a website he set up.

“It’s hard to outline the joy and the morale boost that small white-faced mare gave soldiers,” Sgt. Maj. James E. Bobbitt recollected.

The horse was trained by Marines to avoid trip wires and skirt incoming enemy fire.

Her exemplary performance during the Korean War earned her a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, two Purple Hearts, a Presidential Unit Citation with bronze star, the National Defense Service Medal, a Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Korea Medal, and a Navy Unit Commendation, said the Marine Corps.

Staff Sgt. Reckless was with the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Anti-Tank Company, 5th Marine Regiment, and 1st Marine Division.  She was bought for $250 at a Seoul race track during the war, Fox News reported.

The Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations West – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, was scheduled to be joined in dedicating the statue at the California base by Korean War Veterans who served with Reckless.

The statue shown will be comparable to one that honored the horse three years ago in Quantico, Virginia at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE