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VADM RD Katari

VADM RD Katari
Chief of the Naval Staff
(22 Apr 1958 04 Jun 1962)

Vice Admiral R.D. Katari, the first Indian Chief of the Naval Staff, took over the command of the Indian Navy on 22 Apr 1958. The first Indian to become an Admiral, he has the proud distinction of holding many firsts in academic and professional careers.

The senior-most Indian Officer of the Navy, Admiral Katari was born in Chinglenut (about 40 miles from Madras) and spent his childhood and youth in Hyderabad. After completion of his school and college studies he joined the Training Ship DUFFERIN, where he stood first in the entrance examination.

He has the unique triple distinction of being the first cadet to join the Training Ship DUFFERIN, when this institution was founded in 1927, to be first winner of the Viceroys Gold Medal and to become the first Member representative Ex-Cadets on the Governing Body of the DUFFERIN.

During the last war he was active in service in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and held a variety of appointments both afloat and ashore. Having specialized in anti submarine work, he was for a while instructor in the Anti Submarine School.

Subsequent to the war, he held important sea commands. He was responsible for clearing the mines that had been laid in the Andman & Nicobar areas. Later, the command of the Naval forces that took part in the defence operation off the Kathiawar coast devolved upon him when he was in command of INS Kistna. In the same ship he took the main body of ratings to the U.K. for Indias first cruiser INS Delhi and since the time she was taken over in July 1948 up to early 1949, he served as the commander of the Flagship.

He was promoted to the rank of captain in Dec 1948, about two months before he took over as chief of personnel at Naval Headquarters.

For about a year from Dec 1951, he was the Captain of the IN Destroyer Squadron and Commanding Officer of INS Rajput, the senior ship of the Squadron. He attended a course at the Imperial Defence College in the United Kingdom in 1953. After his return to India he took over as the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff early in 1954 and was constituted Commodore. In the same year, he officiated as the Commander-in Chief of the Indian Navy, and was the first Indian Officer to do so.

In March 1956 he was promoted Rear-Admiral. After handing over to his successor at Naval Headquarters he went abroad on a study tour, returning to India in Aug 1956. Later in Oct he took over as the Flag Officer Commanding the Fleet, which post was until then held by British Officers.

He was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral in April 1958 when he assumed the command of Navy.

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Published on: 2005-02-21 (3978 reads)

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