Join me as I salute Sergeant Reckless …


Reckless with her main caretaker, US Marine Sergeant Joseph Latham. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia; USMC photographer

“Reckless” is not the nickname of the fellow in the photo.

In fact, Reckless was not a fellow at all.

She was a pack horse who served in the Korean War, carrying rifles, ammunition, and supplies to Marines.


Sergeant Reckless, a highly decorated US Marine Corps artillery horse in the Korean War, pictured with a 75mm recoilless rifle. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia; Geer, Andrew Clare. Reckless, pride of the Marines, 1955, page 120

Of course, she wasn’t the only horse who helped during the war, but Reckless was special.

Consider, for instance, the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953 …


Reckless delivered ammo to the recoilless rifle platoon’s firing sites. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; USMC photographer

In one grueling day of the brutal battle, Reckless made 51 trips from the ammunition supply point to the firing sites. She hauled almost five tons of equipment and carried numerous wounded soldiers over 35 miles, through open rice paddies and up steep mountains that were riddled with enemy fire.

And she made nearly every trip by herself.

“Going up the ridge, in and out of view, was this little mare,” recalled retired Marine Sgt. Harold Wadley, who witnessed the horse’s heroism. “I tell you, her silhouette in all the smoke—I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought, ‘Good grief. It’s Reckless!'”

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