1992 Photo Contest, Spot News, Honorable mention

David Turnley

Detroit Free Press / Black Star

27 February, 1991

While being evacuated to a hospital by helicopter, wounded US Sgt. Ken Kozakiewicz gives vent to his grief as he learns that the body bag next to wounded Cpl. Michael Tsangarakis contains the remains of his friend Andy Alaniz. On the last day of the Gulf War, 'friendly fire' claimed Alaniz's life and injured Kozakiewicz and Tsangarakis in the Euphrates Valley, Iraq.

Kozakiewicz, Tsangarakis and Alaniz were part of the extremely well-armed US 24th Infantry Division. They were exhausted, having been on the move almost continuously for the last 63 hours, crossing from Kuwait into Iraq towards the Euphrates River Valley. Kozakiewicz, Alaniz and Tsangarakis were in different Bradley military vehicles approaching the airfield in order to sweep the area. A US tank unit, meant to protect them, instead mistook their group of vehicles for the enemy and fired between six and 18 rounds of depleted-uranium, hitting three vehicles. Tsangarakis lost consciousness and suffered burns to the face when his Bradley was hit, while the explosion broke Kozakiewicz’s left hand. Alaniz was killed while driving his Bradley to aid Kozakiewicz’s damaged vehicle.

About the photographer

David Turnley

American photojournalist David C. Turnley (Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1955) is the winner of two World Press Photo of the Year awards, one Pulitzer Prize, and the Overseas Press Club’s...

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