Former Army Chief Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passed away at Military Hospital in Wellington, the Defence Ministry said on Friday.
The Padma Vibhushan and Military Cross awardee, who was admitted in the hospital for some time for progressive lung disease, had slipped into a coma earlier in the day and the end came just after midnight at 00:30 am, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Manekshaw, who had led India to victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, had developed acute broncho pneumonia with associated complications and his condition had been serious for the past four days.
Manekshaw assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 8th Chief of Army Staff, on June 07, 1969. Born in Amritsar, Punjab in April 1914, he completed his schooling in Amritsar and Sherwood College, Nainital. He then joined the first batch of 40 cadets at Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra Dun on 01 October 1932. He passed out of the IMA in December 1934 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Indian Army. He held several regimental assignments and was first attached to the Royal Scouts and later to the 12 Frontier Force Rifles.
Manekshaw succeeded General Kumaramangalam as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in June 1969.
For his selfless service to the nation, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1972 and was conferred with the honorary rank of Field Marshal in January 1973. He retired a fortnight later on 15 January 1973, after completing nearly four decades of military service.