Vice Admiral B S Soman
CNS, 04 Jun 1962 - 03 Mar 1966
Vice Admiral Bhaskar Sadashiv Soman assumed charge of the Indian Navy, as the 4th Chief of Naval Staff, on 04 June 1962. Born in March 1913, at Gwalior, he was selected for the Royal Indian Marine in 1931. After his initial training in the United Kingdom, he returned to India as a Sub Lieutenant in August 1934. During World War II, he served as First Lieutenant and for a time, as the Commanding Officer of HMIS Cornwallis in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf in 1939 and 1940 respectively. He took part in capturing the Italian Submarine Gallilio off Aden, Yemen.
Later he commissioned HMIS Khyber, a fleet mine-sweeper of the Royal Indian Navy. He was the Senior Instructor in combined operations training establishments at Mandapam, Tamil Nadu and Hamla near Bombay. He was one of the first Indian Officers to be promoted to the rank of Acting Captain in June 1947. During the months following Partition in 1947, he was the first Indian to be appointed to the key post of Chief of Personnel at Naval HQ. In October 1949, he went to sea in command of INS Jumna. He carried a number of goodwill visits to some of our neighbouring countries in the Persian Gulf, Malaya and East Africa.
In 1952, he took over from a Royal Navy Officer as the Naval Officer-in-Charge, Vizag where the Boys' Training Establishment, INS Circars is situated. In January 1954, he went to Cochin, the largest training center of the Indian Navy. Towards the end of 1956, he was appointed as the Commodore-in-Charge, Bombay and with the subsequent upgrading and re-designation of this appointment in 1958 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and re-appointed as the Flag Officer, Bombay.
In April 1960, Vice Admiral Soman took over as Flag Officer Commanding the Indian Fleet. During the 1961 Goa Operations, he was in command of the naval operations. He was the Chief of Naval Staff during the 1965 Indo-Pak War, but the Indian fleet remained bottled in harbour due to political reasons and did not face any action. The Vice Admiral retired in 1966, after more than three decades of service.