Adhar Kumar Chatterji

Adhar Kumar Chatterji
Born 1914
Died 06 August 2001 (aged 8687)
New Delhi
Allegiance  British Raj
Service/branch  Royal Indian Navy
Indian Navy
Years of service 1933–1970
Rank Admiral
Commands held Chief of the Naval Staff
Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Fleet
Commander-in-Charge, Bombay Command
INS Delhi (1948)
Battles/wars World War II
Liberation of Goa
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

Adhar Kumar Chatterji (1914 August 6, 2001) was the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy from March 4, 1966 until February 28, 1970.[1] He was the first Indian officer of the navy to hold the rank of full Admiral.

Early life

He graduated from the Presidency College (as a graduating student of the University of Calcutta) in 1933. The same year he saw a notice at the college about the relaxation of entry criteria for the Royal Indian Navy. He applied and topped the entrance examination.[2]

Naval career

Chatterji was one of the first Indian cadet-entry officers to join the Royal Indian Navy in 1933. After training on board TS Dufferin, he was sent to the United Kingdom. He was commissioned into the Royal Indian Navy as a sub-lieutenant on 1 September 1935, and was promoted to lieutenant three years later in 1938.[3][4]

He qualified for anti-submarine warfare in 1940, and served in World War II on board various Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy ships in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean zones. He also served as an instructor for crash courses in anti-submarine warfare at Royal Navy training establishments during the war.

In August 1947, Commander Chatterji completed the staff course in the United Kingdom and on his return, was appointed Director of Naval Planning at Naval Headquarters in New Delhi.

In June 1950, in the rank of Captain, he assumed command of the flagship of the Indian Navy INS Delhi (1948). He was the first Indian officer to command the cruiser.

Between November 1950 and January 1953, Chatterji was the Naval Adviser to the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom. He oversaw the training of hundreds naval cadets and junior officers in the UK.

Upon his return, he was appointed the Commander-in-Charge, Bombay, with the rank of commodore. The Bombay Command was the predecessor of the Western Naval Command. He held this appointment for two years.

Following the completion of a leadership course at the Imperial Defence College, Commodore Chatterji was appointed the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff in February 1958. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in March 1959.

In May 1962, Chatterji took over as Flag Officer Commanding of the Indian Navy Fleet.

In January 1964, Chatterji was promoted to Vice Admiral and took over as the Commandant, National Defence College.

On March 4, 1966 Chatterji was appointed the seventh Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy. He was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 1 March 1968, the first Indian officer to hold the rank.

Admiral Chatterji retired from the Indian Navy on February 28, 1970.[1]


Admiral Chatterji died in New Delhi.[5]


  1. 1 2 "Admiral Adhar Kumar Chatterji". Information Resource Facilitation Centre, Indian Navy. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  2. "Navy's first "full" Admiral". The Statesman. 2001-08-07. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  3. The London Gazette, 20 September 1935
  4. The London Gazette, 7 October 1938
  5. "Obituary: Events in August 2001". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
Military offices
Preceded by
Bhaskar Sadashiv Soman
Chief of the Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda
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