Eddy Martadinata

Admiral Raden Eddy Martadinata (often stylized R. E. Martadinata; 29 March 1921 – 6 October 1966) was an Indonesian Navy admiral and diplomat.[3] He was given the title of National Hero of Indonesia posthumously in 1966.[4] He is recognized as one of the founders of the Indonesian Navy.[5]

Admiral Raden
Eddy Martadinata
Martadinata in 1960
Chief of Staff of the Navy
In office
July 1959  25 February 1966
Preceded byVice Admiral R. Soebijakto
Succeeded byAdmiral Moeljadi
Personal details
Born(1921-03-29)29 March 1921
Bandung, West Java, Dutch East Indies
Died6 October 1966(1966-10-06) (aged 45)
Mount Riung Gunung, Cisarua, Indonesia
Resting placeKalibata Heroes Cemetery
6°15′26″S 106°50′47″E
Alma materIndonesian Naval Academy
AwardsNational Hero of Indonesia (1966)
Star of the Republic of Indonesia 4th class (1963)[1]
Star of Mahaputera 4th class (1961)[2]
Military service
Allegiance Indonesia
Branch/service Indonesian Navy
Years of service1945–1966
Rank Admiral
CommandsChief of Staff of the Navy
Battles/warsIndonesian National Revolution
Makassar Uprising


Martadinata was born in Bandung, West Java, on 29 March 1921. His father was Raden Ruhiyat Martadinata and his mother was Nyi Raden Suhaemi.[6] He completed his education through senior high school, first in Bandung then in Batavia (now Jakarta). After graduating high school he enrolled in a Dutch-run school for sailors in 1941, but following the Japanese occupation the following year the school was closed. He later continued, under Japanese tutelage, and by 1944 was working as an assistant teacher.[4]

Sukarno proclaimed Indonesia's independence in 1945, and in late August he established the People's Security Body (Badan Keamanan Rakjat, or BKR). Martadinata and other naval trainees began efforts to establish a naval branch of the BKR, which eventually became the Indonesian Navy.[4] During the National Revolution (19451949) Martadinata saw several leadership positions, including as Operating Staff Chief in Yogyakarta and Chief of Staff at the base in Surabaya.[4]

After the Dutch recognized Indonesian independence in 1949, Martadinata remained with the Navy. He oversaw naval operations in South Sulawesi in 1950, when the national government was dealing with the Makassar uprising. In 1953 he was sent to study in the United States.[7] After his return to Indonesia he supervised the purchase of various ships for the Navy.[5] After a period of infighting in the late 1950s, Martadinata replaced Subiyakto as Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy, leaving him in charge of the service branch; the infighting quelled soon after.[5] Martadinata rose through the ranks, reaching vice admiral by 1960.[6]

The 30 September Movement in 1965, an unsuccessful coup attempt which the government blamed on the Communist Party of Indonesia, led to massive changes in the country.[4] At a funeral for Irma, a daughter of Abdul Haris Nasution who had been killed in the coup, Martadinata indicated a wish to purge the communists;[8] this and similar communist purges led to deaths of thousands, although the total number of victims is uncertain.[9] In February 1966 Martadinata left the Navy as he perceived the government to be unwilling to deal with communists. He was reassigned as Indonesia's ambassador to Pakistan.[4]

For the 21st anniversary of the Indonesian Armed Forces on 5 October 1966, Martadinata returned to the country with some Pakistani guests. The day after the ceremony, Martadinata and his guests were flying in an Aérospatiale Alouette II helicopter when the pilot crashed into Mount Riung Gunung at Puncak Pass.[4] After his body was recovered, Martadinata was buried in Kalibata Heroes' Cemetery in Jakarta.[4] A monument with an Alouette II helicopter was later built at the crash site.[10] Since then he has been the namesake for various items, including streets, a building at the Navy Command and Staff College and two warships (KRI Martadinata (342) and KRI Raden Eddy Martadinata (331)).

Raden Eddy Martadinata Road, Sukabumi, West Java

Martadinata was awarded the title of National Hero of Indonesia on 7 October 1966, based on Presidential Decree No. 220 of 1966.[11]


  1. Daftar WNI yang Menerima Tanda Kehormatan Bintang Republik Indonesia 1959 - sekarang (PDF) (in Indonesian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  2. Daftar WNI yang Mendapat Tanda Kehormatan Bintang Mahaputera tahun 1959 s.d. 2003 (PDF) (in Indonesian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  3. Ajisaka, Arya (2004). Mengenal Pahlawan Indonesia: Penuntun Belajar [Knowing Indonesian Heroes: A Study Guide] (in Indonesian). ISBN 978-979-303-470-6.
  4. Mirnawati (2012). Kumpulan Pahlawan Indonesia Terlengkap [Most Complete Collection of Indonesian Heroes] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: CIF. pp. 181–182. ISBN 978-979-788-343-0.
  5. "Martadinata, RE". Encyclopedia of Jakarta (in Indonesian). Jakarta City Government. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  6. Iskandar, Salman (2009). 99 Tokoh Muslim Indonesia [99 Indonesian Muslim Figures] (in Indonesian). Bandung: Dar! Mizan. pp. 56–57. ISBN 978-979-752-682-5.
  7. Sudarmanto, J. B. (2007). Jejak-Jejak Pahlawan: Perekat Kesatuan Bangsa Indonesia [Footsteps of the Heroes: Uniting the Indonesian People] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Grasindo. pp. 151–153. ISBN 978-979-759-716-0.
  8. Hughes, John (2002). The End of Sukarno – A Coup that Misfired: A Purge that Ran Wild. Archipelago Press. ISBN 981-4068-65-9.
  9. Ricklefs, M. C. (1993). A History of Modern Indonesia since c.1300 (2nd ed.). MacMillan. pp. 288–290. ISBN 978-0-333-57689-2.
  10. Waskita, Ferdinand (14 August 2017). "Begini Kisah Dibalik Tugu Helikopter yang Berlokasi di Dekat Masjid Atta'Awun Puncak". tribunnews.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  11. "Daftar Nama Pahlawan Nasional Republik Indonesia (1)" [List of Names of National Heroes of the Republic of Indonesia (1)]. Awards of the Republic of Indonesia (in Indonesian). Indonesian State Secretariat. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
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