Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero

$16.19 Member Price

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.

By: Patricia McCormick.
Hardcover: 40 pages.
Grade 1-5.

At the height of the Korean conflict, a young racehorse was abandoned and left hungry at a racetrack. Around the same time, a nearby U.S. Marine unit was exhausted from lugging heavy ammunition uphill during their battles. While a mule would have been preferable, Sergeant Pederson trained that once-abandoned horse to carry the ammunition for the Marines—and what followed is a remarkable story. Named Reckless, she carried herself with aplomb under the roughest of combat conditions, in one battle she made 51 trips and carried 9,000-pounds of ammunition. Meanwhile she ate everything and anything, waking up the company cook to get her breakfast. Reckless would eventually attain the rank of Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. McCormick's narrative is excellent and Brunos's bold illustrations contribute to the story as much as the text. The work concludes with a synopsis of Reckless's retirement in the United States. While Melissa Higgins's Sgt. Reckless the War Horse: Korean War Hero is a suitable title, McCormick's is more exciting.