Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse by Robin Hutton (Regnery History, Washington, DC) was published July 28, 2014, and author Hutton is currently on an East Coast tour promoting her book and the story of Reckless, “the pride of the Marines.”
Reckless, previously named Flame of the Morning, was Mongolian chestnut mare only 13 hands high and 900 pounds who joined the Marines in 1952, when Lt. Eric Penderson from the 75mm Recoilless Rifle (aka “Reckless Rifles”) Platoon of the 5th Marines paid $250 to a young Korean boy who needed the money to purchase an artificial leg for his sister. Reckless, previously named Flame, quickly adopted the Marines as her family and became more than “just a pack mule,” said Hutton in a previous interview.
Reckless distinguished herself during the Battle of Nevada Cities: Outpost Vegas (March 26–30, 1953). During just one day of the battle, she made 51 trips from the supply point to the firing site, carrying 386 rounds of ammunition for the 75 mm rifles (a total of more than 9,000 pounds). She walked more than 35 miles, up 45-degree muddy mountain paths and across open rice paddies, usually alone, with enemy fire exploding around her at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. She carried wounded Marines to safety on her return trips, saving countless lives with her heroic efforts. Reckless was wounded twice, once on the flank and once over her left eye. She received numerous decorations for her bravery and efforts: two Purple Hearts, a Good Conduct Medal, a Presidential Unit Citation with star, a National Defense Service Medal, and a Korean Service Medal; she was also the only animal officially promoted twice to staff sergeant.
Hutton refers to her book as “a biography of Reckless, which includes details on her full story and also has a section about the monuments in her honor.”
On July 26, 2013, a monument created by artist Jocelyn Russell (Washington) honoring the commitment and service of Staff Sergeant Reckless was dedicated at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park of the National Museum of the Marine Corps (Quantico, Va.). The monument in Quantico was dedicated one day before the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice (July 27, 1953).
Hutton’s book includes interviews with the Marines who fought alongside her, sharing the “captivating tale of how a would-be Korean racehorse became one of the greatest Marine wartime heroes of all time.”
Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse by Robin Hutton is now available for purchase in bookstores. For more information about Reckless and to contact Robin Hutton, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sgt-Reckless/168429476628917 or http://www.sgtreckless.com/Reckless/Welcome.html. Visit the statue of Reckless at The National Museum of the Marine Corps http://www.usmcmuseum.com/index.asp.