Army releases combat photographer’s final image taken moments before fatal blast

web fotografia mu big tp Army releases combat photographers final image taken moments before fatal blast

A mortar tube accidentally explodes during an Afghan National Army live-fire training exercise in Laghman province, Afghanistan, July 2, 2013. This photo was taken by U.S. Army Spc. Hilda Clayton, who died in the blast. (Spc. Hilda Clayton/U.S. Army)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The U.S. Army has published the final photo of a combat photographer who captured on camera the blast that killed her in an accidental mortar explosion in Afghanistan nearly four years ago. The Army’s professional journal says the image illustrates how women are increasingly exposed to dangerous situations in the military.

The photograph of Spc. Hilda Clayton was published Monday in Military Review.

“Clayton’s death symbolizes how female soldiers are increasingly exposed to hazardous situations in training and in combat on par with their male counterparts,” Military Review wrote.

Clayton snapped the picture during a live-fire training exercise on July 2, 2013 in the Laghman Province, Afghanistan. The blast also killed four Afghan National Army soldiers. One of them was a photojournalist Clayton had partnered with to train.

Military Review noted that the explosion happened during a critical moment in the war, when it was important for U.S. and Afghan forces to work in partnership to stabilize the country.

Hilda Clayton

A fallen soldier battle cross display is set up in remembrance of Spc. Hilda Clayton at the Argonne Hills Chapel on Fort Meade, Md., July 16, 2013. The cross is a means of showing respect for the fallen among the still living members of the troop. (Pvt. David Devich/U.S. Army)

“Not only did Clayton help document activities aimed at shaping and strengthening the partnership but she also shared in the risk by participating in the effort,” the journal added.

Clayton, who was from Augusta, Georgia, was a member of the Fort Meade, Maryland-based 55th Signal Company, which is known as Combat Camera. She was 22.

Gordon Van Vleet, a spokesman for the Network Enterprise Command, which is the higher headquarters for the 55th Combat Camera Company she served under, said Clayton’s final photo was published with her family’s permission. Van Vleet said the family is declining to comment.

Combat Camera honored Clayton by naming an annual award for the best combat photography after her, Military Review wrote. Combat Camera soldiers are trained to take photos and video in any environment and accompany soldiers to document combat operations.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Listen Live