The recoilless rifle was six feet long and weighed over a hundred pounds. It often required three or four Marines to carry it across the battlefields during the Korean War.
Lugging it was dangerous, but it was necessary, because that rifle, which the soldiers nicknamed “reckless,” could fire a 75mm shell thousands of yards with surgical-like precision.
It was one of the U.S. Marine Corps’ finest munitions. But the commander of the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Eric Pedersen, knew there had to be a better way to use it on the battlefield in Korea.
That better way came to Lieutenant Pedersen in the form of an offer from a stable boy from the racetrack in Seoul. The boy’s sister had stepped on a land mine and lost her leg, but the family couldn’t afford a prostethic. The boy offered Pedersen a horse he owned and was training to race. He had named it “Ah Chim Hai,” or “Morning Flame.”
Pedersen paid $250 of his own money for the small chestnut mare. He wouldn’t be racing her. He was going to train her to carry that giant gun.
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