US Army photographer captures mortar explosion that killed her
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US Army photographer captures mortar explosion that killed her

A 22-year-old combat photographer captured the fatal moment during a live-fire training exercise. A mortar tube had accidentally exploded.

world Updated: May 04, 2017 14:46 IST
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Annapolis (Maryland, US)
US Army,Army photographer,Mortar explosion
Four Afghan soldiers and US army photographer, Spc. Hilda I Clayton, were killed during an Afghan National Army (ANA) live-fire training exercise in Laghman Province, Afghanistan, on July 2, 2013. The picture was taken at the moment of detonation by one of the Afghan soldiers. The 2013 photo was released for the May-June issue of the United States Army journal Military Review. (US Army/Reuters )

The US Army has published the final photo of a combat photographer who captured her own death on camera in an accidental mortar explosion in Afghanistan nearly four years ago.

The photograph of specialist Hilda Clayton was published this week in Military Review.

The Army’s professional journal noted that Clayton’s death “symbolizes how female soldiers are increasingly exposed to hazardous situations in training and in combat on par with their male counterparts.”

Spc. Hilda I Clayton captured the explosion barely moments after it occurred and moments before it took her life. (US Army/Reuters )

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.

Clayton, of Augusta, Georgia, was a member of the Fort Meade, Maryland-based 55th Signal Company. She was 22.

First Published: May 04, 2017 08:03 IST