Military Wiki
Ram Dass Katari
Born (1911-10-08)8 October 1911
Died 1983
Place of birth Chingleput, Madras Presidency
Allegiance  India
Service/branch Royal Indian Navy
Indian Navy
Years of service 1927–1962
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held Chief of the Naval Staff
Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Fleet
INS Rajput (D141)
HMIS Kistna (U46)
HMIS Cauvery (U10)
Battles/wars World War II
Liberation of Goa
Other work Ambassador to Burma
Chairman, APSRTC
Author, A Sailor Remembers

Ram Dass Katari (1911–1983) was an Indian Navy Vice Admiral who served as the 5th Chief of the Naval Staff from 22 April 1958 to 4 June 1962. He was the first Indian to hold the office and succeeded the last British officer to the post, Vice Admiral Sir Stephen Hope Carlill. He led the Indian Navy in the conflict during the liberation of Goa against the Portuguese Navy.

Early life[]

Ram Dass Katari was born in Chingleput in Madras Presidency on October 8, 1911. He spent most of his childhood and youth in Hyderabad. He was educated at Mahbub College High School and at Nizam College in Hyderabad.

Naval career[]

After graduation, Katari was in the first batch of Indian cadet-entry officers to join TS Dufferin on its establishment in 1927. He topped the entrance examination. He finished the course earning the Viceroy's Gold Medal. Later, he was the first graduate of TS Dufferin to serve on its Governing Board.

At the start of World War II, he was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Indian Navy Volunteer Reserve and served in surface fleets of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. He specialized in anti-submarine warfare. Later, he also served as an instructor at the Anti-Submarine Warfare School.

At the end of the war, as a Lieutenant Commander, he was appointed the commanding officer of HMIS Cauvery (U10) and led the mine clearance operations in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

At the independence of India, he held the rank of Commander and was the commanding officer of HMIS Kistna (U46). He led the defense operations off the Kathiawar coast during the integration of Junagadh. From July 1948 to early 1949, he was the Executive Officer on board the cruiser, INS Delhi (1948), with Lieutenant Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda as his First Lieutenant.

In December 1948, he was promoted to Captain. In February 1949, he was appointed the Chief of Personnel at Naval Headquarters (NHQ).

In December 1951, he was the commanding officer of the Indian Navy's Destroyer Squadron as well as the lead destroyer of the squadron, INS Rajput (D141).

In 1953, he underwent a staff course at the Imperial Defence College. Upon his return in early 1954, he was appointed the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (DCNS) and promoted to Commodore.

In March 1956, he was promoted to Rear Admiral. In October 1956, he became the first Indian officer to be appointed the Flag Officer Commanding of the Fleet.

On 22 April 1958, he became the first Indian officer to be appointed Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS). As CNS, he designed the framework for India's strategy for managing maritime security issues. During his tenure, the Indian Navy underwent a consolidation of its acquisitions, and established plans for its future growth. It also instituted improvements to training and operational effectiveness programs. India's first aircraft-carrier, INS Vikrant, was commissioned during his tenure.

As CNS, he led the naval operations during the liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule in December 1961.

He retired as CNS on 4 June 1962.[1]

Later career[]

Vice Admiral Katari served as the Chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) between December 1962 and May 1964. In 1964 he was appointed India's Ambassador to Burma, where he served for over five years.[2]

He was the first setter of The Hindu Crossword and compiled the daily puzzles till his demise.[3] [4]

He also authored a memoir of the formative years of the Indian Navy during his service, A Sailor Remembers.


Vice Admiral Katari died in 1983.

The Katari Memorial Hall at A/21, Sainikpuri, near Secunderabad, was dedicated to the memory of VADM Katari on the event of his birth centenary on October 8, 2011.[5]


Military offices
Preceded by
Stephen Hope Carlill
Chief of the Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Bhaskar Sadashiv Soman

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