A New York Times Bestseller! From the racetrack to the battlefield—dauntless, fearless, and exemplar of Semper Fi—she was Reckless, "pride of the Marines." A Mongolian mare who was bred to be a racehorse, Ah-Chim-Hai, or Flame-of-the-Morning, belonged to a young boy named Kim-Huk-Moon. In order to pay for a prosthetic leg for his sister, Kim made the difficult decision to sell his beloved companion. Lieutenant Eric Pedersen purchased the bodacious mare and renamed her Reckless, for the Recoilless Rifles Platoon, Anti-Tank Division, of the 5th Marines she’d be joining. The four-legged equine braved minefields and hailing shrapnel to deliver ammunition to her division on the frontlines. In one day alone, performing fifty-one trips up and down treacherous terrain, covering a distance of over thirty-five miles, and rescuing wounded comrades-in-arms, Reckless demonstrated her steadfast devotion to the Marines who had become her herd. Despite only measuring about thirteen hands high, this pint-sized equine became an American hero. Reckless was awarded two Purple Hearts for her valor and was officially promoted to staff sergeant twice, a distinction never bestowed upon an animal before or since. Author Robin Hutton has reignited excitement about this nearly forgotten legend, realizing the Sgt. Reckless Memorial Monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, completed in July 2013, and now spurring the creation of a second memorial at Camp Pendleton, California, where Reckless lived out the rest of her days. The paperback edition includes a new foreword by General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. It will appeal to fans of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, Elizabeth Letts' The Eighty Dollar Champion, and the feature film War Horse.
She's a decorated Marine, a combat veteran, and a horse. Meet Sergeant Reckless! This is the remarkable true story of a horse who overcame great odds to become a hero. Raised and trained to become a racehorse in Seoul, she is destined to be a winner. But when the Korean War breaks out on the day of her first race, her life changes forever...
"This book will delight both animal lovers and military buffs!" — Elizabeth Letts, bestselling author of The Eighty Dollar Champion Meet the forgotten members of the Greatest Generation: the war animals who guarded American coasts against submarine attack, dug out Londoners trapped in bomb wreckage, and carried vital messages under heavy fire on Pacific islands during World War II. They kept up morale, rushed machine gun nests, and even sacrificed themselves picking up live grenades. Now Robin Hutton, the bestselling author of Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse, tells the heartwarming stories of the dogs, horses, mules, pigeons—and even one cat—who did their bit for the war effort. American and British families volunteered beloved family pets and farm dogs to aid in the war effort; President Roosevelt was among many who bought honorary "commissions" in the reserves for their pets to raise money to defeat Hitler and Tojo. Many of these gallant animals are recipients of the prestigious Dickin Medal, the "Animals' Victoria Cross." In War Animals: The Unsung Heroes of World War II you'll meet: - Judy, the POW dog who helped her beloved human survive brutal Japanese prison camps - Cher Ami, the pigeon who nearly died delivering a message that saved American troops from death by friendly fire - Beauty, the "digging dog" who sniffed out Londoners buried in the wreckage of the Blitz—along with pets, including one goldfish still in its bowl! - Olga, the horse who braved shattering glass to do her duty in London bombings - Smoky, the Yorkshire terrier who did parachute jumps, laid communications wire through a pipe so small only she could navigate it, became the first therapy dog—and starred on a weekly TV show after the War - Simon, the war cat whose campaign against the "Mao Tse Tung" of the rat world saved food supplies and his ship's crew - Chips, who guarded Roosevelt and Churchill during the Casablanca Conference, and was the only dog to earn a Silver Star for his heroics The shining loyalty and courage of these heroes is a testimony to the enduring bond between us and the animals we love.
Smoke the Donkey recounts the strong friendship between Colonel Folsom and this stray donkey and the massive challenges of reuniting Smoke with Folsom in the United States following Folsom's retirement.
The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero
Author: Patricia McCormick
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
The inspiring true story of Reckless, the brave little horse who became a Marine. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It's a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children. When a group of US Marines fighting in the Korean War found a bedraggled mare, they wondered if she could be trained to as a packhorse. They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they'd ever known. And one of the biggest appetites! Soon Reckless showed herself more than willing to carry ammunition too heavy for the soldiers to haul. As cannons thundered and shells flew through the air, she marched into battle--again and again--becoming the only animal ever to officially hold military rank--becoming Sgt. Reckless--and receive two Purple Hearts. This is the first picture book from award-winning novelist Patricia McCormick, sumptuously illustrated by acclaimed artist Iacopo Bruno.
Tales of Equine Courage and Endurance in Wars from Waterloo to Korea
Author: Duncan Forer
Heroic Horses tells the tale of a number of military horses and their contributions in a range of wars and conflicts across the globe from the Napoleonic era to the Korean War. The book recounts the stories and exploits of some famous war horses and some far less well-known, along with those of their riders, and in so doing describes the history of those wars and campaigns. The theme is the heroic nature of the horses' service and how different breeds have made varying contributions, based upon the breed characteristics and the individual nature of the mounts concerned. The breeds of horses which feature include; Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Basuto Ponies, Mustangs, Australian Walers, South African Boerpeerds, Hunters, Appaloosas, and even a Mongolian Pony, along with mentions of numerous others. The objective is to tell the war story from the horse's perspective and hence understand the campaigns from an equine perspective. This is the first book that will tell the stories of many equine heroes, rather than of a particular horse, and the first to base the history not only around the war concerned but also around the breed. The first chapter focuses on the life of the Duke of Wellington's Thoroughbred, Copenhagen, who carried him through the Peninsula and the 100 Days of the Waterloo Campaign. The descendant of one of the most famous racehorses of all time, Eclipse, through Copenhagen we learn of the early development of the Thoroughbred racehorse and then of the Duke of Wellington's military career, culminating at Waterloo. Finally, we enjoy Copenhagen's years of fame as an equine superstar. Next the book considers the Crimean War. Despite his many flaws, it took great courage for Lord Cardigan to lead his cavalry into the Russian guns at Balaclava. We hear his story from the perspective of the incredibly honest and brave Thoroughbred, Ronald, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade. We hear of Ronald's life, the Crimean War and also the story of another Thoroughbred who charged that day, Sir Briggs. An ex-Steeplechaser owned by Lord Tredegar, through Sir Briggs we learn something of the early development of the sport of Steeplechasing. Turning to the United States, we discuss the remarkable career of the Mustang, Tartar, from surviving the winter snows of the Utah campaign against the Mormons in 1857/8 and on through the entire Civil War. The stories of other equine battlers of the war are also told, including General Meade's horse, Old Baldy, who saw action in nine major battles, before we move back out west to discover how, after the Fetterman Massacre at Fort Phil Kearny, John "Portugee" Phillips rode Dandy for three days and nights through snow drifts and sub-zero temperatures to raise help from Fort Laramie. They arrived on Christmas day but the effort was too much for poor Dandy who collapsed dead of exhaustion on arrival. Staying in the west, we discuss possibly the most famous military Mustang of all, Comanche, the only survivor of Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The mount of Captain Myles Keogh, through Comanche we retell the story of both Keogh and Custer and in so doing learn much about the Mustang breed and Indian Warfare on the Great Plains. Finally, despite his many wounds it is a story with a happy ending as Comanche enjoyed a celebrated retirement as mascot for the 7th Cavalry. A year after the Little Bighorn the peaceable Nez Perce tribe of Idaho who were provoked into conflict and gave the US Army a consummate lesson in mobile mounted warfare. Accomplished horse breeders, they had developed the spotty Appaloosa from native stock into a hard sure footed breed of great endurance and adaptability. Throughout 1877 on their Appaloosas they were to out run the US Army over 1700 miles of Idaho, Wyoming, Yellowstone and Montana for 113 days, defeating the soldiers on numerous occasions despite being outnumbered. We discover the history of this remarkable breed and tell the story of this epic campaign of manoeuvre and endurance which culminated in their defeat and capture just 40 miles from the Canadian border. Turning to the Zulu War the book looks at the Basuto breed. With the British Central Column defeated by the Zulus at Isandlwana and the southern column besieged at Eshowe, Lord Chelmsford hoped that Colonel Wood's Northern Column might provide some much needed success. In one of the lesser known battles of the Zulu War, the then Lieutenant Colonel Redvers Buller led his men to the summit of Hlobane plateau in the hope of capturing Zulu cattle. What he discovered was a Zulu Impi which trapped his mounted infantry and left them with the 400ft knife edge drop of the Devil's Pass as their only escape. On his brave, sure footed Basuto Pony, Warrior, Trooper George Mossop leapt down that pass and despite impaling himself, Warrior went on to carry Mossop the 12 miles to safety at Khambula. The chapter covers the history of this campaign and the development of the Basuto breed along with the story of how Buller won his VC that day. Next we turn to the breed of endurance specialists, the Arabian Horse, and describe how it contributed to British Colonial conflicts in the later nineteenth century. Vonolel was the Arabian that carried Lord Frederick Roberts 300 miles across Afghanistan to Kandahar to win a famous victory. Also there on that campaign was Lt Col Francis Brownlow of the 72nd Highlanders who rode his remarkable chestnut Arabian, Maidan, who had been bred in the Nejd of Saudi Arabia. A remarkable horse that was born in 1869 and had already won many races, Maidan went on to further campaigns and to win many more races before his death in England. Finally, we hear of Maharajah, the Arabian mount of the Imperial Yeoman, Captain Jack Seely. Against the Imperial Yeomanry were the Boer Commandos of Christian De Wet on their mobile hardy Boerperds. Maharajah carried Jack throughout his tour in the equine holocaust of the 2nd Boer War and was one of the few horses to return home. The story of horses in World War I has become associated with the futility of the charge against trenches, machine guns and barbed wire. However, in the Middle East where mobility was key, cavalry had notable success such as that of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba on 31st October 1917. Trooper Sloan "Scotty" Bolton charged that day on his Waler horse, Monty and we tell their story, as has been told in the 1987 feature film The Light Horsemen. We tell of the development of the Waler breed and their adaptability to the dessert, and also of the contribution of British cavalry, such as the magnificent charge of the Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry at Agagia against the Senussi tribe in Egypt. In addition to describing Allenby's cavalry campaigns, we also link back to the story of the now General Jack Seely and hear of the equally heroic and magnificent, but sadly more costly, charge of Lord Strathcona's Horse of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade at Moreuil Wood on the Western Front. Closer to a scene out of Spielberg's Warhorse, we describe how Lieutenant Gordon Flowerdew earned his VC on 31th March 1918 and helped to stop the German advance on the Western Front. Equine involvement in war did not cease with the Treaty of Versailles. An Italian Equestrian of Olympic standard named Amadeo Guillet was to show that in the terrain of Abyssinia, mounted troops could still be successful. In telling his story we describe the Abyssinian Crisis of 1935 and how on Christmas Day he charged on his Arabian, Sandor to defeat Haile Selassie's troops at Selaclaca Gorge. Subsequently during the Second World War, again astride Sandor, he charged with over 500 mounted men against British and Indian troops in armoured cars and tanks at Keru, throwing grenades as they went. Our final equine hero comes from the US Marine Corps at Outpost Vegas during the Korean War. Purchased by 2nd Lt Eric Pedersen, of the Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the Anti-tank Company of the 5th Marine Corps, Sergeant Reckless was a chestnut Mongolian pony from the racecourse at Seoul who was trained to carry 75mm ammunition. On 25 March 1953 Sgt Reckless carried those shells by himself, without being led, across paddy fields and up steep hills a distance of 1,800yds. He made that trip 51 times, carrying wounded men back down as he went, and earning two purple hearts for his wounds in the process. Back in the USA at the end of the war he was a highly decorated veteran and celebrity who in 1990 was ranked by Life Magazine as one of the top 100 US heroes of all time alongside Washington and Lincoln. The book should appeal to anyone with a general interest in military history who is after a new perspective on otherwise familiar, or in some cases, little known history. However, the book is written in such a way that it will also be of interest to anyone with a love of horses or equestrian pursuits. With the courage of horses not limited to one nation there are stories from across the English speaking world, notably, UK, USA, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and New Zealand. It should also appeal to the Arabian world due to the many references to Arab horses and there is even the story of an heroic Arabian owned by an Italian. By telling the story of conflicts with the horse as the protagonist, Heroic Horses brings alive the histories for a wider range of readers than would be the case if the viewpoint were that of the leader. In focusing on the stories of the horses rather than the riders, Heroic Horse, in non-fictional form, taps into the same spirit as Michael Murpogo's War Horse, the tale of the fictional horse Joey. These real stories of equine endeavour are equally moving and since they relate to an innate and global human affection for the horse, and enable to horrors and gallantry of war to be examined afresh from the perspective of the morally blameless servant of the soldier.
From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Heart of Everything That Is, comes the unlikely story of a racehorse who truly became a war hero, beloved by the Marine Corps and decorated for bravery. Her Korean name was Ah-Chim-Hai—Flame-of-the-Morning. A four-year-old chestnut-colored Mongolian racehorse, she once amazed the crowds in Seoul with her remarkable speed. But when war shut down the tracks, the star racer was sold to an American Marine and trained to carry heavy loads of artillery shells across steep hills under a barrage of bullets and bombs. The Marines renamed her Reckless. Reckless soon proved fearless under fire, boldly marching alone through the fiery gauntlet, exposed to explosions and shrapnel. On some of her uphill treks, Reckless shielded human reinforcements. The Chinese, soon discovering the bravery of this magnificent animal, made a special effort to kill her. But Reckless never slowed. As months passed, the men came to appreciate her not just as a horse but as a fellow Marine.