Born into the U.S. Marine Corps

1941 - LaGrange, IL

My father, Glenn Phillip McAtee, served in France and Belgium during WWI, 1917-1919, including service at the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918. Dad went on to be a Chicago reservist serving at the Naval Armory on Lake Michigan in Chicago. In 1940 he was called to one-week active duty per month in Washington, D.C., as the USMC representative to the “War Manpower Commission” (selective service). During WWII he was full-time active duty in Denver and Washington. Dad retired a lieutenant colonel in 1947.

In August 1940 Bob, Tom and Miles were sent off to military boarding school in LaGrange Park, Ill.

On Feb. 26, 1952, I went off to USMC boot camp in San Diego – tent camp, at Camp Pendleton. About July 1 I boarded a troop transport on my way to Korea and the 1st Shore Party Battalion Headquarters at Ascom City near Inchon. About March 29 I was “CLUTCH PLATOONED” to the 5th Marines “C” Company to back up the Battle of the Nevada Complex near Panmunjom. Who was in the trench next to me but my brother Bob?

When things slowed down, Bob and I met behind the M.L.R. and who else did we meet but Sgt. Reckless.? She was a racehorse from the Seoul racetrack purchased by Lt. Erick Peterson, weapons battalion, recoilless rifle platoon for the price of $250. They taught Reckless how to haul ammo and weapons up to the top of the “Big Boy” hills like Vegas near Panmunjom. She carried wounded back down the hill to the Navy corpsmen. When we met Sgt. Reckless, she put her head on my shoulder and I heard her cry. Bob said, “That horse probably saved my life.” There is a Sgt. Reckless beer made by Evil Horse Brewing in Crete, Ill. which I am proud to enjoy from time to time.

When the truce was signed July 27, 1953, I was sent to Inchon to go stateside on the first troop transport out of Korea after the truce signing.

My brother Miles was coming off the T.T. I was getting on the T.T. and Bob was the Shore Party M.P. Brothers Bob, Tom and Miles said “hello and goodbye” at the Inchon Ramp. This is where on Sept 15, 1950, our brother Gary landed on his way to Seoul and the frozen Chosin Reservoir. Gary served in the USMC 1st Provisional Brigade.

Memories are made of things like these.

Semper Fi

Glenn Thomas McAtee
American Legion Post 1941
LaGrange, Ill.

Thanks to Robin Hutton for the book "Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse." Find more at

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