Uday Singh Taunque


Sergeant Uday Singh (born 1982–died 2003) was the first U.S. Army soldier of Indian descent to die during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was born in a Punjabi Sikh family. His death in Iraq was widely reported in the Indian and American media.

Sergeant Uday Singh
Uday kuwait.jpg
Born India Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Died Iraq Iraq
Service/branch United States U.S. Army
Rank Sergeant
Unit 34th Armor Regiment (United States)
Battles/wars Iraq War
Awards Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Early life

Sergeant Uday Singh was born in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India on April 23, 1982. He was born to a distinguished military family. His grandfather, Wing Commander Kartar Singh Taunque, was the first member of Indian Air Force to win a gallantry award for operations in Waziristan during Waziristan campaign (1936–39). He lived with his parents at various military stations until 1994. In 1994, he moved to his grandparents’ home in Chandigarh.


In Chandigarh, he enrolled in St. Stephen’s School, Chandigarh. In 1995, Singh’s parents and sister also moved to Chandigarh. Singh, completing school in Chandigarh in June 2000, left for the U.S. with his father and sister.

Service in the U.S. Army

Singh enlisted in the U.S. Army on 28 August 2000 and following completion of initial training at Fort Knox was assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, based at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Singh’s unit was deployed to Iraq in September 2003. On, December 1, 2003, Singh was serving as the gunner in the lead Humvee of his platoon while on reconnaissance mission in Habbaniyah. The platoon took fire and Singh returned fire, pinning the insurgents down until reinforcements arrived. Sergeant Singh was shot in the head during the engagement and died while en route to the hospital. The mission led to the capture of a number of insurgents and large cache of weapons.

For his actions that day Uday received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.


  • Illinois General Assembly also paid homage to him by passing a Senate resolution.

See also

  • Kartar Singh Taunque
  • Jagjit Singh Taunque
  • Indian American
  • Punjabi American
  • List of Indian Americans