Hilda Clayton

The Army released photos taken by a Army combat photographer and her trainee just milliseconds before a mortar round detonated unexpectedly.

22-year-old Spc. Hilda Clayton and her trainee died instantly in the blast.

Clayton was attached to the 4th Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division on maneuvers in Afghanistan in July 2013.

The photos show Afghan soldiers being trained by US troops during a live-fire training exercise in Afghanistan.

Clayton and her trainee were snapping photos of the live-fire exercise at the exact moment when a mortar shell unexpectedly detonated in its launcher. Also killed in the blast were three Afghan soldiers.

The photos were taken from the perspective of Clayton (who was standing) and her trainee, whose camera can be seen in the lower left corner of one image.

Clayton, a visual information specialist, was documenting the war in Afghanistan.

The tragic incident marked the first death of a Army combat documentation in Afghanistan.

Clayton's family approved the release of the photos.

Hilda Clayton

Hilda Clayton

  • n1kk1a

    That's so sad. Thank you for you service. I salute you ma'am. RIH

  • imright

    RIP ??

  • Renee26

    We are asking everyone to say a prayer for the US "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan and have lost 9 Marines in 4 days. I am HONORED to re-post this! Thank you to ALL of "OUR" Service men and women. Happy to do this! Sending prayers, strength and encouragement to the marines and other soldiers and their families who lost their lives, and to the Marines that are still fighting.
    R.I.P. Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, and Sheldon Tate 27.... All are Marines who gave their lives this week for us ....for our freedom! There's no media for them at all... not even a mention of their names. Please honor them by copying and pasting this post everywhere you can R.I.P.
    Please keep these soldiers families in your prayers.

  • Renee26

    Fighting because of Trump dropping bombs on "ISIS"....but we won't mention that

  • Renee26

    IJS if Trump dropped the bomb on ISIS why are they still over there fighting and dying?? It will be a cold day in hell before I let my son enlist to fight for a country that cares nothing about him F that! No offense to anyone who has served or has family serving because to each their own. I can only speak for myself

  • Tiffani Zumba

    Wow..may she rest in peace. I don't understand why her family would approve of the photos being released tho.

  • Faux Gibbler

    The sad reality is, regardless if we are in war or not, our troops are stationed everywhere a round the world in dangerous places in the Middle East.

  • Dowoop

    I dont see why not..Show everybody the cold reality of war.

  • Faux Gibbler


  • Faux Gibbler

    See my comment above

  • Faux Gibbler

    It looks they are sitting there?
    Which one is the girl?

  • Dowoop

    The girl is behind the camera lens..She doesnt appear in the photos.

  • Cie Be

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear about these soldiers losing their lives in a senseless war....My Prayers are with their families! All too sad!

  • starbright9449

    Thank you!!!

  • Tazzy

    RIP soldier! Lord cover her family and the other military members.

    My husband deploys in a few weeks. Prayers for them all. ??

  • leapyearpisces

    Tears are welling up in my eyes, when I look at those ages. They are babies. :-(. They just babies.

  • CrunchyBlack1

    i still wonder why people sign up to be the one to shoot rockets from their shoulder or grenades from a hand launcher.

  • WutizaGRANNY!

    Prayers to you and yours as well as the other soldiers. Here is the scripture I use because my son's a Marine: Psalms 37.1-3

    The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

    2 When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
    it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.

    3 Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
    though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

  • Willette Capers

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • WutizaGRANNY!

    It doesn't work that way. In the beginning you are given three choices based on your scores. Even then if those aren't available you go where they put you. Even a cameraman is a soldier first.

  • CrunchyBlack1

    no i meant the ones out in the field. who chooses to shoot one instead of being quiet when they asking for volunteers.

  • Miany

    It seems as if she died back in 2013. They probably feel as if releasing the photos will allow us civilians some sort of insight into the sacrifice made on our behalf by others.

  • VM

    My deepest and sincerest condolences to the family. I pray the the Lord will give the families strength and comfort. This hits close to home I served two combat tours. The things you see when you're over there is scary, nobody wants their comrades to come home in a body bag. I also pray for the soldiers who will get assigned to pick up the remains.

  • Keesh5000

    Crunchy, anyone with those thoughts should not sign up for the Military..... sounds like someone that was drafted. They dont ask for volunteers once your in... They give orders Sir

  • Keesh5000

    In Prayer with you and your brave husband for protecting our Country

  • Keesh5000

    holding the camera

  • Keesh5000

    Thats right. I ask myself if our #45 ever think of that when he is choosing his words.

  • BacktolurkingIgo

    Prayers for her loved ones smh

  • dontgetblocked

    Why was this released and publicized??

  • Mbailey

    BECAUSE we don't want black people to only be known for twerking and nheggarizing one another; but as patriots and professionals. Rest In Peace. Thank you for your service.

  • Tazzy

    Thank you so much. I will print for my husband to read daily, as well as my four kids and I.

  • Tazzy

    Amen. Thank you so much

  • Coffee1st

    SMH. That was somebody's baby. Both of them. Condolences.

  • Tazzy

    Thank you so much. It is greatly appreciated

  • Tazzy

    Lord, cover ??

  • AnastasYah

    Yeah,but a deceased Patroit.

  • AnastasYah

    Protecting our country?!Laugh Out Loud

  • Mbailey

    IT'S okay and quite adult to face what our patriots do in our names. Only if you were born last night, do you not know that reporting on the heroics and deaths of our military is quite normal.

  • Shira Harding-James

    Are you being serious?

  • Daffany Rose-Gilbert

    Well said

  • Daffany Rose-Gilbert

    Because her parents had it released.read the article again because reading is fundamental

  • AggieMom96

    Friendly fire. Terrible.

  • JanusMaximus

    This is really sad.

  • Jussjess25

    Dam ?

  • Pebbles

    You thought your freedom was free? Enjoy your day.

  • UpsideRisk

    Yeah but did the Afghan soldiers' families approve?. They are the ones in the pictures being blown up right?

  • iAmsterdam

    Much respect and rip to her but i would never risk my life for a country and a flag that doesnt serve my people.

  • AnastasYah

    If you believe being female and dead by the age of 22 is normal you yourself is abnormal.

  • http://www.NeCola.Mayvenn.com Chile_Pleeze

    OUR babies.... smh,, send Eric, Donald Jr and yes..even Barron over there to fight alongside OUR children....

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    I understand why we went into Afghanistan, but that was in 2001.
    I don't understand why we're still there in 2017.

  • Dani B.

    RIP to her and her family.... BLESSINGS, and PROTECTION for your husband and others STILL being deployed.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    A baby.

  • Mbailey

    HER choice and we honor her for her professionalism.

  • Mbailey

    MANY are. You sign up for military duty, you go to war. Or did you think she thought that she was going to be on the catwalk at the MET Gala. She was courageous and strong. RIP to her.

  • Tazzy

    Amen I know her family truly needs prayers. They try and prepare you for it but u never really think it could happen to your service member.

    Thank you so much

  • Queen of EVERYTHING

    Hubby and I played hooky and went on a day trip to Virginia Beach yesterday. As we walked the beach there were at least 20 armed fighter planes that succinctly took off one after the other above us. We just gave each other?that knowing look.

  • AnastasYah

    And now she's dead,courageous and strong!Never join or fight the battles of your enemies.

  • Queen of EVERYTHING

    Photographs are owned by the photographer unless otherwise contractually agreed upon.

  • UpsideRisk

    Yes, but would they really have published them without the families consent if the soldiers in the pic were American?

  • Lorenzo Chaps

    Yo 22? Damn. Condolences to her family and friends.

  • Smartypants

    May she Rest In Peace. These photos should be hung up in the 9/11 museum. I will certainly remember her this Memorial Day. To think, she was probably just trying to go to school or buy a house with her GI Bill. ?

  • Renee26

    Right! He wouldn't dare though...they're too busy hoping on and off private jets as we pay for their family trips

  • strike freedom

    living the #smartmouthlife

  • TawnyDelux

    This happened 2 years ago, they just released it. Still looks like yesterday.

  • Deborah Stevenson

    Well said!!!

  • Deborah Stevenson