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Historical Society To Open Season With Program About Reckless, The Equine Korean War Hero

Published: September 6, 2017

One of the happier stories to come from the Korean War is that of the adopted warhorse Reckless. Starting as a draftee, conscripted by a Marine lieutenant well outside of regulations, Reckless became a beloved member of the combat Marines, achieving high rank and honors.

Newtown Historical Society, in conjunction with C.H. Booth Library, will hear the story of Reckless through a program presented by Janet Barrett on Monday, September 11. The program will be offered in the community room of the library, 25 Main Street. It will begin at 7:30 pm and all are welcome, free of charge.

When the US Marine Fifth Regiment’s Recoilless Rifle Platoon acquired a small Korean pony to haul ammunition up the steep hills to the front lines, they got a real-life warhorse, the courageous and indomitable Reckless, who stood with her buddies for two years during the Korean War, saving lives, raising spirits, and winning the love and respect of all who knew her.

Reckless arrived on base in October 1952, disrupting a softball game and capturing the attention of everyone around. Immediately named for the “reckless” rifles she would supply, she began life with the Marines as Private First Class Reckless, and in short order was an integral member of the platoon.

In skirmishes and firefights, and ultimately in the savage Battle for Outpost Vegas, Reckless showed her bravery and resilience. In that last bloody fight, surpassing all expectations, she hauled ammunition for three days and nights wherever it was needed. For wounds sustained, she was awarded two Purple Hearts.

Ever the character, she also shared her buddies’ C-rations and mess hall chow, beers and an occasional whiskey, and on cold nights, their warm tents. She was promoted to sergeant by the commander of the Marine First Division, and soon thereafter, sailed for San Francisco, to a hero’s welcome, and a new life.

Janet Barrett is the author of They Called Her Reckless, the first full biography of this amazing warhorse, and a lifelong rider. She has written a book about riding, and has also written about health, sports, and education for a host of specialty publications. As well, she has written for TV, radio, and the public relations field.

Copies of They Called Her Reckless, signed by the author, will be available for purchase during the September 11 event.

For further information visit or call 203-426-5937.


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