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.
Today, war is a high-tech affair. The modern soldier relies on advanced weapons and communications technology as his essential support. But in World War II, soldiers relied on an entirely different kind of support—a kind of support soldiers have used since ancient times. Animals.
Dogs, horses, and pigeons became World War II soldiers' best friends in battle, serving to carry weapons, wounded men, and messages through artillery fire. In War Animals, bestsellling author Robin Hutton brings the animal heroes of World War II to vivid life with the heroic true tales of:
• Famed pigeon G.I. Joe, who saved an Italian village and British troops by flying 20 miles in 20 minutes to carry a message to Allied forces;
• Chips, a German Shepherd trained as a sentry who attacked an Italian machine gun team, sustaining powder burns and saving his handler's life;
• Bing, a paradog who jumped out of a plane on D-Day, landed in a tree, and once on the ground helped his handlers locate the enemy.
A heartwarming and sometimes even hilarious history of bonafide heroes of feather and fur, War Animals is a World War II story you've never read before.
America's highest military award, the Congressional Medal of Honor, was awarded to 440 deserving members of the"Greatest Generation" that served in World War II. But in 1943, before the war was even over, Allied leaders realized they needed another kind of award to recognize a different kind of World War II hero-animal heroes.
Founded in 1943, the prestigious PDSA Dicken Medal is the highest award an animal can achieve for gallantry and bravery in the field of military conflict. It was given to fifty-five animals who served valliantly alongside the members of the Greatest Generation. In War Animals, nationally bestselling author Robin Hutton (Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse) tells the incredible, inspiring true stories of the fifty-five animal recipients of the PDSA Dicken Medal during WWII and the lesser-known stories of other military animals whose acts of heroism have until now been largely forgotten. These animal heroes includeG. I. Joe, who flew twenty miles in twenty minutes and stopped the planes on the tarmac from bombing a town that had just been taken over by allied forces, saving the lives of over one hundred British soldiers; Winkie, the first Dickin recipient, who saved members of a downed plane when she flew 129 miles with oil clogged wings with an SOS message that helped a rescue team find the crew; Chips, who served as a sentry dog for the Roosevelt-Churchill conference; andDing, a paradog whose plane was hit by enemy fire on D-Day, ended up in a tree, and once on the ground still saved lives.
A heartwarming and sometimes even hilarious history of hero birds, dogs, horses and more, War Animals is a World War II story you've never read before.