AP War Photos: From Iwo Jima to Napalm Girl and Beyond

The girl, naked and screaming, ran straight for Nick Ut’s camera – and into the story.

Her name is Kim Phuc, and the moment the Associated Press photographer captured her image 50 years ago – June 8, 1972 – she became more than a victim of a US napalm strike on a Vietnamese hamlet. She was and is an international symbol of this unpopular war and the torment inflicted on the innocent in all wars.

South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a suspected Viet Cong officer with a single pistol shot to the head in Saigon, Vietnam, February 1, 1968. Viet Cong guerrillas were captured near Quang Pagoda carrying a gun and wearing civilian clothes. He was identified as an officer and taken to the police chief. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams, File)PA

For nearly a century, the AP has covered the war in images. Some have won Pulitzer Prizes, like Ut’s Napalm Girl, like Eddie Adam’s breathtaking photo of the execution of a Viet Cong prisoner, like Joe Rosenthal’s painting of Marines Raising the Flag on Mount Suribachi of Iwo Jima.

They and others are etched into global memory, often resonating in ways that words and video do not.

AP War Photos

Troops from the US 1st Cavalry Division roll out into the Saudi Arabian desert during pre-Gulf War preparations following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, November 4, 1990. (AP Photo/Greg English, File)PA

Some show the action of war – a Palestinian with a stone in his hand confronts an Israeli tank; Korean refugees crawl over a broken bridge like ants; a statue of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein crashes to the ground.

But others focus on pain and loss. A Marine, bleeding profusely around his neck, is evacuated by helicopter after a bombardment in Afghanistan. A man shows scars left by machete-wielding gangs during the Rwandan genocide. A Palestinian woman, her face clouded in fury and grief, holds up helmets left behind by those responsible for a massacre in Lebanon’s Sabra refugee camp.

AP War Photos

A Palestinian woman holds up helmets during a memorial service for the victims of the Sabra Lebanon refugee camp massacre in Beirut, Lebanon September 27, 1982. She said the helmets were worn by those who massacred hundreds of Palestinians. (AP Photo/Bill Foley, File)PA

Too often, war photos depict young victims.

Thirty-eight years apart, in Vietnam and Syria, fathers hug the bodies of their dead children. Between the two, in 1994, a 7-year-old boy was mortally wounded in a pool of blood in Serajevo.

AP War Photos

A father’s hands press against the window of a bus carrying his tearful son and wife to safety in the besieged city of Sarajevo, Bosnia during the Bosnian War, November 10, 1992. Women, children and the elderly who had endured months of siege were allowed to leave town on Red Cross buses, breaking up many families. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)PA

And then, this year, Evgeniy Maloletka captured the aftermath of the Russian bombing of a maternity ward in Mariupol, Ukraine. Five men were carrying a pregnant woman on a stretcher. Her pelvis had been crushed; she would not survive.

Neither did her unborn child.

AP War Photos

U.S. Private Zachary Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas, wears “I love NY” underpants as his platoon takes up defensive positions after Taliban fighters attacked the Restrepo firing base in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, 11 May 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)PA

AP War Photos

U.S. Private Paul Pickett, 22, of Louisiana, center, covers wounded comrade James Gordon, 20, of Texas, to protect him from the rotor wash of a medevac helicopter at the outpost of combat in Tangi Valley, Afghanistan, August 19, 2009 (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)PA

AP War Photos

U.S. Marines of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division raise the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Feb. 23, 1945. Strategically located just 660 miles from Tokyo, the Pacific island became the site of one of bloodiest and most famous battles of World War II against Japan. (AP Photo/Joe Rosenthal, File)PA

AP War Photos

Nyabimana, 26, who was evacuated after being found by the Red Cross wandering in Kabgayi, shows his machete wounds at an International Committee of the Red Cross hospital in Nyanza, Rwanda, June 4, 1994. Massacres, mostly by machete-wielding gangs, swept through Rwanda where people were killed in their homes and farms, as well as in churches and schools where they sought refuge. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju, File)PA

AP War Photos

A Palestinian stone thrower faces an Israeli tank during clashes at the Karni crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, on the outskirts of Gaza City, October 29, 2000. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, Queue)PA

AP War Photos

A car bomb explodes next to Iraqi special forces armored vehicles as they advance towards territory held by the Islamic State group in Mosul, Iraq, November 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)PA

AP War Photos

Residents of Pyongyang, North Korea, and refugees from other areas crawl over the broken girders of the city’s bridge to flee south across the Taedong River and escape advancing Chinese communist troops on 4 December 1950. The Chinese entered the Korean War as allies of North Korea, while American troops fought in support of South Korea. The fighting ended in 1953 with a military demarcation line drawn near the 38th parallel where it began in 1950, and Korea remains divided today. (AP Photo/Max Desfor, File)PA

AP War Photos

Iraqi civilians and US soldiers tear down a statue of Saddam Hussein in downtown Baghdad, April 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)PA

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