Korean War Veteran, Sgt Reckless.

What a Veteran: Korean war horse Sgt. Reckless

This is our second post about the Korean War veteran Sgt. Reckless who happens to be a horse.

We at Tuesday’s Horse first discovered the Sgt. Reckless story in June, 2011. It has gone viral many times over since then, but for those who have yet to hear about her, you are in for a remarkable read.

Here is a bit about Sgt. Reckless from her website:

    “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 wasn’t 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 can’t 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.

    “Kim’s loss was the Marines’ gain.

    “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 man’s land” rice paddies and up the steep 45-degree mountain trails that led to the firing sites. “It’s 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 would carry wounded soldiers down the mountain to safety, unload them, get reloaded with ammo, and off she would go back up to the guns. She also provided a shield for several Marines who were trapped trying to make their way up to the front line. Wounded twice, she didn’t let that stop or slow her down.

    “Her Military Decorations include two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she wore proudly on her red and gold blanket, along with a French Fourragere that the 5th Marines earned in WW1.”

Sgt. Reckless retired in 1960 at Camp Pendleton with the rank of Staff Sargeant. She passed on May 13, 1968 and was buried with full military honors.

Since we first posted about Sgt. Reckless, we are happy to learn that a commemorative 10-foot bronze statue created by Jocelyn Russell was dedicated and unveiled in a special ceremony on July 26, 2013, at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia.

After the war, Reckless, who was praised by The Saturday Evening Post while still in Korea, made several television appearances, including the “Art Linkletter Show.” A film was planned, but ultimately did not materialize and the horse fell from the national conversation, Robin Hutton told Fox News.

Hutton is writing a book and completing a screenplay about Sgt. Reckless she is hoping to have made into a movie. Thank you Robin Hutton for your dedication to this brave equine soldier.


Visit Sgt. Reckless’ website >>

Sgt. Reckless horse by Breyer.
Sgt. Reckless horse by Breyer.

For Our Members! We will hold a prize drawing for a Breyer Sgt. Reckless horse on Monday, November 25, 2013.

What a wonderful gift idea!

Learn more about Int’l Fund for Horses Membership here.

Animals in War Memorial, London, England. Photo by Rob Lovesey.
Animals in War Memorial, London, England.

Yesterday, November 10th, was Animal Remembrance Day, honoring all animals lost in conflicts worldwide. A special ceremony was held in London. It is not too late, wherever you are, to offer a prayer of gratitude for all of our brave war Veterans.

6 thoughts on “What a Veteran: Korean war horse Sgt. Reckless”

  1. Thank You Vivian for presenting this Sculpture of the magnificent Sgt Reckless , the Beautiful Little mare who was so dedicated , and risked her life hundreds of times to save Ours and insure our Freedom, it her Honor and bravery above and beyond anyones expectations, she has always been an inspiration , since you first reported her here !!!! The sculpture made with precision and love, created by Jocelyn Please everyone Russell, even just the Photo of it takes my breathe away… and tears of Joy fill my eyes , she is so Honored Thank You again !!!!! A heartfelt Thank You to all our Dedicated Veterans, both 2 and 4 legged !!!!! !!!!!! Let Sgt Reckless inspire all of us to make those needed phone calls to our State Senators, to co sponsor the Safe Act in her Honor !!!!!!!


    1. Thank you Kathleen. I find it so moving, the story and the sculpture. As I mentioned to Tim, I have only seen a photograph of it, and when I opened it up I immediately took a deep breath. So impressive, so beautiful.


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