Category:
War

Sgt. Reckless

With thanks to reader Sherry Mowbray.



The Wikipedia page.

Staff Sergeant Reckless (c. 1948 – May 13, 1968), a decorated war horse who held official rank in the United States military,[2] was a mare of Mongolian horse breeding. Out of a race horse dam, she was purchased in October 1952 for $250 from a Korean stableboy at the Seoul racetrack who needed money to buy an artificial leg for his sister.[3] Reckless was bought by members of the United States Marine Corps and trained to be a pack horse for the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Anti-Tank Company, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.[2] She quickly became part of the unit and was allowed to roam freely through camp, entering the Marines' tents, where she would sleep on cold nights, and was known for her willingness to eat nearly anything, including scrambled eggs, beer, Coca-Cola and, once, about $30 worth of poker chips.

She served in numerous combat actions during the Korean War, carrying supplies and ammunition, and was also used to evacuate wounded. Learning each supply route after only a couple of trips, she often traveled to deliver supplies to the troops on her own, without benefit of a handler. The highlight of her nine-month military career came in late March 1953 during the Battle for Outpost Vegas when, in a single day, she made 51 solo trips to resupply multiple front line units. She was wounded in combat twice and was given the battlefield rank of corporal in 1953 and then a battlefield promotion to sergeant in 1954, several months after the war ended. She also became the first horse in the Marine Corps known to have participated in an amphibious landing, and following the war was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, inclusion in her unit's Presidential Unit Citations from two countries, and other military honors.


The home page.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 26, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, War, Reader Recommendation, Twentieth Century, Courage, Bravery, Heroism and Valor

The best defense against an atomic bomb…

"... is not to be there when it goes off."

Advice which remains true to this day.

Manchester Evening News - Feb 18, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 18, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: War, Weapons, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1940s

Tank Pigeons

Tanks were first used in combat during World War I, but they often relied on a very old-fashioned form of communication: pigeons.

From military-history.org:

Where cumbersome, insecure, and unreliable wireless sets, along with telephones, signal lights, and flares failed, pigeons succeeded. When human runners could not pass through walls of barrage fire, pigeons rose above the explosions and the gas and flew swiftly to their lofts, bearing dispatches in tiny cylinders attached to their legs.

A pigeon about to be thrown from a tank during World War I

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 01, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Military, War, 1910s

Ideal Fighter Jet Toy



Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 26, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Toys, War, Weapons, 1950s

Recipes for the fallout shelter housewife

Marie Adams, food editor of the Charlotte News, felt that nuclear war shouldn't stop a "fallout shelter housewife" from providing her family with tasty meals and "appetizing snacks". In a 1961 column (Sep 7, 1961) she offered suggestions for fallout shelter meals that included deviled ham and parsley dip served with tomato juice, swedish fruit soup with cheeses, and vichyssoise with crackers.









A response from a reader of the Charlotte News:

Charlotte News - Sep 11, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 22, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, War, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1960s

Obscene Chinese Money

The portrait of Confucius is expressing his opinion with his fingers of the occupying Japanese army.




Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 16, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages, Money, War, 1930s, Asia

Bicycles in War

I had heard about Vietnamese soldiers using bicycles to transport supplies along the Ho Chi Minh trail, but other than that I was completely unaware of the role that bicycles have played in the history of war. Martin Caidin's book tells the story. You can read it at archive.org.







Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 16, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, War

The Blonde Brigade

Apr 1938: Actress Jean Colwell came up with a sure-fire way to end all wars. Her idea was that if a group of beautiful, blonde women stood in between the two opposing armies, in the "no man's land," then the soldiers on each side would refuse to attack because "No soldier will shoot at a good-looking blonde." Peace would be achieved!

To make her vision a reality, Colwell placed an ad in a New York newspaper:

Are you blonde, beautiful and ready to join men in the trenches in the next war? It's the last chance to save this idiotic man's world. Jean Colwell, 124 West 55th.

The response was enthusiastic, and within a month she had enough volunteers to form a "blonde brigade," all wiling to risk their lives for peace.

Wisconsin State Journal - Mar 29, 1938



Los Angeles Times - Apr 27, 1938



Owensboro Messenger - Apr 2, 1938



Women of other hair colors didn't want to be left out. So there was soon also a "red-headed regiment" and a "brunette battalion."

San Bernardino County Sun - Apr 30, 1938



Of course, none of these women were ever shipped to the front line to serve as a human shield. Colwell herself spent the war in Forth Worth, Texas performing in plays. After the war she moved to Japan as a civil service worker. When she died in 1986, she was back in Fort Worth. I haven't found any info on what she did between 1946 and 1986.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 14, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: War, 1930s, Women, Hair and Hairstyling

The Deadly Tombstone of John Rogers Vinton



From his Find-a-Grave site:

After some time spent at Monterey and Saltillo, He was then ordered to join Gen. Scott in the attack on Vera Cruz. In the evening of 22 Mar 1847, he had just returned to his post when a large shell, hit the top of a parapet, glanced and struck his head, fracturing his skull, and killing him instantly. The shell did not burst, and it is supposedly that very cannon ball, that now adorns his grave.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 05, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Regionalism, War, Cemeteries, Graveyards, Crypts, Mortuaries and Other Funereal Pursuits, Nineteenth Century

Square-Wheeled Tank

In 1957, Albert Sfredda secured a patent (No. 2,786,540) for a square-wheeled tank. He explained:

A vehicle equipped with square wheels of the type contemplated by my invention gives better traction and a smoother ride when used on rough terrain than one having circular wheels. Following are the reasons: the sides of a square wheel constitute large flat surfaces for bridging ruts and cavities in the ground whereas a circular wheel follows the surface of the ground and enters many ruts; and the sides of a square wheel provide a large contacting area with the ground when they lie parallel thereto, and, hence, afford better pushing effect, whereas a round wheel affords only a small pushing area, which often results in causing a digging effect.



Sfredda was correct that square wheels would provide better traction on rough terrain than circular wheels would. The video below explains why. But the problem, of course, was that his tank would have difficulty moving on a regular, flat road.



Along similar lines, Macalester College has had a square-wheeled bicycle on permanent display since 1997. More info: macalester.edu

image source: StanWagon.com

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 21, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Motor Vehicles, War, Weapons, Patents, 1950s

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