Nick Ut is one of the Associated Press’ most renowned photographers. As he celebrates 50 years with AP, there is one image from his days in Vietnam that continues to capture the mind and heart of our nation— “Napalm Girl.”
South Vietnamese forces follow terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places on June 8, 1972. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on its own troops and civilians. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. From left to right: Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye; Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc; Kim Phuc; and Kim’s cousins Ho Van Bon and Ho Thi Ting. Behind them are soldiers of the Vietnam Army 25th Division. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
It is one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Donna Granata sat down with Ut as he recalled the creation of his Pulitzer Prize–winning image.