Published: Fri, May 05, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Army photographer captures her own death in mortar explosion

Army photographer captures her own death in mortar explosion

Clayton died alongside an Afghan military photographer she was training and three Afghan National Army soldiers.

The U.S. Army has released the final, stunning images taken by a photographer moments before she and four others were killed by an accidental explosion in 2013.

The U.S. Army recently released this 2013 photo, the last one taken by Spc.

The Military Review published the harrowing photo and a tribute to Clayton in the May/June 2017 issue - four years after her death - as part of an edition themed around gender equality.

The Military Review, the Army's professional journal, said her efforts came at a critical time in the war when the Afghan National soldiers were assuming responsibility for military actions and partnership was crucial.

It was while they were snapping photos that a mortar tube accidentally exploded.

According to Stars and Stripes, Clayton worked as a visual information specialist attached to the 4th Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

Ms Clayton has been remembered by the United States army with an annual award for best combat camera work named in her honour.

The Army's professional journal says the photo shows that women are being exposed to more unsafe situations in the military.

The Army defended its decision to release the image, saying "these photographs illustrate the dangers our military men and women face both in training and in combat".

Upon her death, Clayton was honored with memorial ceremonies in Afghanistan and Fort Meade, Maryland. Combat Camera soldiers are trained to take photos and video in any environment and accompany soldiers to document combat operations.

Spc. Clayton was an Augusta native.

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