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 Reckless Korean War Horse

Photo added by John "J-Cat" Griffith

Reckless Korean War Horse

  • Birth Jul 1947 Seoul, Seoul Special City, South Korea
  • Death 13 May 1968 Oceanside, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Burial Oceanside, San Diego County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 72108427

US Marines Corps Korean War Horse. During actions in Korea in October 1952, 5th Regiment 2nd Lieutenant Eric Pedersen wanted to increase the firepower of his recoilless rifle platoon by securing a pack animal to carry 75-mm. shells over rugged terrain. For $250, he bought a petite mare horse named Flame from a Korean racetrack boy who needed money. Her name was changed to Reckless and she quickly learned her duties from caretaker Sergeant Joseph Latham. Reckless went on to valiantly serve the Marines in combat. During the five day bloody Battle of Outpost Vegas in March 1953, she made 51 solo trips carrying nearly 10,000 pounds of ammunition and explosives from supply depots to the front lines. She also carried wounded Marines and was wounded twice herself. After the war, Reckless came to America and was praised as a war hero. She made public appearances, was featured in The Saturday Evening Post, Life Magazine and made several television appearances, such as the "Art Linkletter Show". In 1960, she retired to Camp Pendleton and in a ceremony was promoted Staff Sergeant by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. For her service, Staff Sergeant Reckless is the US Military's most decorated animal earning two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she proudly wore on her scarlet and gold blanket. She died of natural causes in May 1968 and was buried with full military honors with a bronze plaque on her grave at the Camp Pendleton Stables. On Thursday July 25, 2013, the US Marines honored Staff Sergeant Reckless an equine soldier of the Korean War in a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Oceanside. In addition to her dedication at Camp Pendleton, as part of the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War, Reckless was honored with a 10-foot bronze statue of her at the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia, on July 26, 2013.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Created by: Lettie Kirby
  • Added: 28 Jun 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 72108427
  • Lettie Kirby
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Reckless Korean War Horse (Jul 1947–13 May 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 72108427, citing Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, San Diego County, California, USA ; Maintained by Lettie Kirby (contributor 46920696) .