Hilda Clayton was a battlefield photographer with the United States Army who was murdered in 2013 when a mortar burst inadvertently during an Afghan training exercise.

Hilda Clayton was caught on camera capturing the blast that killed her and four Afghan soldiers.

She was posted to the 21st Signal Brigade’s 55th Signal Company, Fort Meade, Maryland. Clayton was the first time combat documentation and production specialist who was brutally murdered in Afghanistan.

Clayton, a visual data expert with the 55th Signal Company at the time, was shooting the training of Afghan National Army soldiers in Jalalabad, Laghman Province, Afghanistan, on July 2, 2013.

She was filming a mortar being fired in real-time when the mortar round detonated in the launch tube. At roughly the same time, Clayton and an Afghan soldier shot photos.


Hilda Clayton Last Photo As Mortar Bomb Snatched Her Life

Specialist Hilda Clayton’s final shot, published in the May/June issue of the United States Army’s Military Review journal, was made available for the first time last week.

She died during an exercise training Afghan troops. It depicts a scene a mortar tube detonated by accident, showering debris and shrapnel. Expert Clayton was there behind the lens, filming the final moments of her life.



Her body was cremated at the Poteet Funeral Home, and she was laid to rest in the Veterans Plot part of Augusta, Georgia’s Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery.

In her honor, the 55th Signal Company titled its annual combat camera contest ‘The Spc. Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera Competition.’

In 2017, she was included in a story on gender equality in the Army in the May–June issue of the US Army magazine Military Review.

Learn About Hilda Clayton Wikipedia

Hilda Clayton already had a Wikipedia page of her own devoted to her.

Various sources disagree regarding who took which photograph. Ortiz Clayton is credited with the above photo by Stars and Stripes, Military Review, CBS News, and Fox News.

Ortiz Clayton is credited with another photograph, according to Army Times.

The army photographer’s picture was published in the US Army’s Military Review in May 2017 with her family’s consent, and it drew worldwide media attention from outlets such as The New York Times, Time magazine, and the BBC.

Details On Hilda Clayton Family

Moving on to her family, Hilda Clayton was born in Augusta, Georgia, on May 21, 1991, to Ellis Ortiz and Evelyn Suarez.

She completed her graduation from Augusta’s Westside High School in 2009.

Clayton was wedded to Specialist Chase E. Clayton, a part of Charlie Company 1-30 IN 2 ABCT, 3rd Infantry in Fort Stewart, GA. Clayton was of Puerto Rican origin.