Jal Cursetji

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Jal Cursetji
Born (1919-05-20) May 20, 1919 (age 97)
Jabalpur, Central Provinces and Berar, British Raj (now Madhya Pradesh, India)[1]
Allegiance  British India (1938-1947)
 India (from 1947)
Service/branch Indian Navy
Years of service 1938–1979
Rank IN Admiral Shoulder curl.png Indian Admiral.jpgAdmiral
Commands held Chief of the Naval Staff
FOC-IN-C, Western Naval Command
INS Vikrant (R11)
HMIS Bombay (J249)
Battles/wars World War II
Liberation of Goa
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Legion of Merit[2]

Jal Cursetji (born May 20, 1919) is a retired Indian Navy admiral who served as the 10th Chief of the Naval Staff from March 1, 1976 until February 28, 1979.[3] Cursetji's prior commands included those as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-IN-C) of the Western Naval Command and the commanding officer of INS Vikrant (R11) and HMIS Bombay (J249). He also served as the Naval Attache to the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and as the Chief Hydrographer of the Indian Navy.

Early life[edit]

Cursetji was born in 1919 in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh in a Parsi family. He attended St.Aloysius Hr.Sec.School in Jabalpur.

Naval career[edit]

Cursetji joined the Royal Indian Navy Volunteer Reserve as a cadet in January 1938. He was commissioned as an officer in the RIN in September 1940 as a Sub Lieutenant. He qualified as a Hydrography Specialist in the United Kingdom.

During World War II, Cursetji served in the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. In 1944, he took over as the Commanding Officer of HMIS Bombay (J249).

After the independence of India, he opted to join the Indian Navy. He was the senior most Indian officer in the Hydrographic Survey branch, and took part in the coastal surveys of Burma, Malaya and Indonesia. He served as the Surveyor-in-Charge of the Marine Survey of India between 1950 and 1953. He was deputed as the Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India in 1955.[4]

In 1957, he took command of the 11th Destroyer Squadron. Between 1961 and 1965, Cursetji served as the Naval Attache in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa. Between 1966 and 1967, he was the Commanding Officer of INS Vikrant (R11).

He was promoted to Rear Admiral and took over as the Chief of Personnel at Naval Headquarters in December 1967. In February 1970, he was promoted to Vice Admiral and took over as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff. On 27 February 1973, he took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-IN-C) of the Western Naval Command.

Admiral Cursetji became the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) of the Indian Navy on 1 March 1976. He retired on 28 February 1979.[1][3]


Cursetji was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in January 1971. He was the first Indian Navy CNS to be awarded the Legion of Merit in 1978.[2]


  1. ^ a b Service Chiefs of India. Google Books. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  2. ^ a b Stewart, William. Admirals of the World. p. 85. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Admiral Jal Cursetji, PVSM". Information Resource Facilitation Centre, Indian Navy. Retrieved 2011-11-19. 
  4. ^ http://www.hydrobharat.nic.in/pdf/charting.pdf
Military offices
Preceded by
Sourendra Nath Kohli
Chief of the Naval Staff
Succeeded by
Ronald Lynsdale Pereira