1976 – THE LAST U.S. ARMY HORSE
Blackjack - Source: imh.org
The profound grief of Americans at the death of President John F. Kennedy was accentuated by the sight of Black Jack, the riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups, a symbol of a fallen hero. Black Jack was the last horse issued to the Army by the Quartermaster, and he was the last to carry the ” U.S. ” brand common to all army horses. Like so many thousands of army horses, his breeding was unknown. He was foaled on January 19, 1947.
Black Jack was sent to the Third Infantry (The Old Guard) from Fort Reno, Oklahoma , in 1953. He was named after General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, Supreme Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I. Black Jack served in ceremonial functions, participating in the funerals of Presidents Hoover, Kennedy, and Johnson, General Douglas MacArthur, and thousands of others in Arlington National Cemetery. Black Jack was semi-retired on June 1, 1973, and died February 6, 1976, at the age of 29. His ashes were placed in an urn at his monument at Fort Meyer, Virginia.