To commemorate the distinguished service rendered by General KS Thimayya, Padma Bhushan, DSO, Commemorative Postage Stamp and First Day Cover were issued by Department of Posts and Army Postal Service Corps at Fort William, Kolkata on 04 Feb 2023, the day General KS Thimayya was commissioned into the Indian Army.
Lt General Rana Pratap Kalita, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, GOC-in-C Eastern Command and Colonel of the KUMAON & NAGA Regiments and KUMAON SCOUTS unveiled the Stamp and signed the First Day Cover in the presence of prominent dignitaries, veterans, Senior serving Army officers and the present and Ex Commanding Officers of 4 & 8 KUMAON, the Battalions where General KS Thimayya had had served.
General KS Thimayya, also known as ‘Timmy’, was a legendary Indian military officer who served as the Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961. He was born in Madikeri, in the state of Karnataka on 31 March 1906 and passed away on 18 December, 1965.
Regarded as one of the most iconic officers of Indian Army, General KS Thimayya was commissioned into 4/19 Hyderabad Regiment and Commanded 8/19 Hyderabad Regiment. Under his outstanding leadership, the Battalion achieved notable success in Battle of KANGAW which was fought against the invading Japanese Imperial Army in Burma during the World War II.
General KS Thimayya also served as a Brigade Major in the Burma Campaign. He was also a part of the World War II Indian contingent that fought in Italy and was awarded Mention-in-Despatches for his gallant action in the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. By the end of World War II, he was awarded the coveted Distinguished Service Order (DSO) as an acknowledgement to his selfless devotion to duty.
He represented the Country during surrender of Japanese in Singapore and Philippines. General KS Thimayya achieved the unique distinction of being the only Indian to command a Brigade in World War II.
Post independence, he took over the command of 19 Infantry Division in Jammu & Kashmir, where he played a pivotal role in driving out the tribal raiders and the Pakistan Army out of the Kashmir Valley. He personally led the surprise attack on Zoji La on 01 November 1948 with Stuart Light Tanks of the 7th Light Cavalry. The Indian Army troops under the leadership of General KS Thimayya successfully drove out the entrenched raiders and Pakistan Army regulars resulting in the eventual capture of Dras, Kargil and Leh.
Thereafter, General Thimayya served as the Commandant of the prestigious Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
Later on 01 October 1951, he was appointed the Quartermaster General of the Indian Army. He was specially selected by the United Nations to head the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in Korea, where his role was widely acknowledged by the international community. In 1954, he was awarded the coveted Padma Bhushan for his distinguished service rendered to the nation.
General KS Thimayya was appointed as the sixth Chief of the Army Staff on 07 May 1957 and after four years at the helm, he retired on 07 May 1961.
After retirement, based on his stellar and notable performance in Korea, he was appointed as the Commander of UN Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in July 1964. He died while serving at UNFICYP on 07 December 1965.
General KS Thimayya’s contributions to the Indian Army will always be remembered and celebrated.His name is enough to spark admiration in the minds of every Indian.
Source : Indian Army
Report- Pratyusha Mukherjee