Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reckless - A True American Hero

Continuing with our stories about animal war heroes we will discuss a distinguished animal hero who has been forgotten and ignored as time has passed. After reading the account and viewing the presentation after clicking the link below you will wonder why you never heard about "Reckless." We see so many fictional stories and fictional heroes it is truly a shame when real stories and heroes are ignored.

They refer to the Korean War as "The Forgotten War" and it is unfortunately true. You see or read very little about the conflict and it is not glorified in movies as other conflicts. But American soldiers fought and died in this war so it is truly a shame that so many Americans know so little about what happened in this war.

There was a movie just recently released by Steven Spielberg called "Warhorse." When I heard about it I thought it was about the war hero horse "Reckless" who was real and had a "distinguished" tour of duty during the Korean War. I was disappointed when I found out it was not and so Reckless is still relegated to obscurity. That is why I felt it was essential to bring the story of Reckless to light so people could learn about a true "hero" animal. It is pretty amazing when you will find out that Reckless was named one of America's 100 greatest heroes by Life magazine. So read below and click on the link in order to be enlightened about an amazing true story that has been sadly forgotten of a heroic animal who took part in a conflict which has gotten little of the respect it deserved historically.

"Semper fi," Reckless.
(The Marine motto...short for Semper fidelis, always faithful)
Reckless  - a Marine Hero 

Reckless  was a pack horse during the Korean war, and she  carried recoilless rifles, ammunition and supplies  to Marines. Nothing too unusual about that, lots of  animals got pressed into doing pack chores in many wars.

But this horse did something  more….during the battle for a location called Outpost Vegas, this mare made 50 trips up and down  the hill, on the way up she carried ammunition, and  on the way down she carried wounded  soldiers…

What was so amazing? Well she made  every one of those trips without anyone leading  her.

I can imagine a horse carrying a wounded  soldier, being smacked on the rump at the top of the  hill, and heading back to the “safety” of the rear. 
But to imagine the same horse, loaded with  ammunition, and trudging back to the battle where  artillery is going off, without anyone leading her is unbelievable. To know that she would make 50 of  those trips is unheard of. Hell, how many horses  would even make it back to the barn once, let alone return to you in the field one single  time.

So here is a clip of her story and  photos to prove where she was and what she did…. _HERE_ ( 

She was  retired at the Marine Corps Base in Camp Pendleton  where a General issued the following order…she was  never to carry any more weight on her back except  her own blankets. She died in 1968 at the age of  20.

P.S. How bad was the battle for Outpost  Vegas…. Artillery rounds fell at the rate of 500 per  hour, and only two men made it out alive without wounds. Just two. And a horse, and she was wounded  twice.


  1. Pete, this was truly an inspiring story. Although Reckless was exceptional, many of our animals are heroes in their own right.

  2. It is such a shame people do not know real history and think what they see on TV or at the movies are reality. There are so many supposed "based on true events" movies/TV shows which are so bastardized it is a joke. The sad thing is people believe what they see on these shows is what truly happened. We now have a fictionalized account about a horse in World War I, which I am sure will do well (as it is a Spielberg Film)and we have an amazing TRUE story about a real hero horse that has been essentially ignored. If I had the resources and abilities I would love to bring that story to the big screen. So I have done what I can with posting it on this blog so it can be available so more people can learn about an amazing animal.