Transocean Air Lines        1946 - 1960
Around the World With Transocean Air Lines

By 1950, Transocean was prominent in the Orient, and Nelson finally had his chance to set up
the first operation of a scheduled Japanese airline during October of 1951. TAL's operation was
established under an agreement with Northwest Airlines, which had been awarded the original
contract by the Japanese. But at the time, Northwest was unable to furnish the equipment and
crews, and Transocean had both. Therefore, TAL was given a subcontract and started the
service with four Martin 202s and in February of 1952, flew out two more Northwest airplanes to
supplement the operation. The flights linked the main island of Honshu with the industrial
centers on the other islands and the Martins carried about 80 percent load capacity.
On October 23, 1952, the corporation entered into a contract with Japan Air Lines whereby TAL
would furnish all flight crew personnel and dispatchers, plus seven instructors, under the
direction of Gene Cohan, Director of Far East Operations for Transocean, to train crews for the
JAL domestic routes. Among the station managers at JAL were Dick Laskelle and Larry Bovat,
with Dispatcher Vic Lakin. The contract also called for a maintenance facility, Japan Air Lines
Maintenance Company (JAMCO) to be established, with mechanics and instructors to be
supplied by Transocean. Within the year, TAL also furnished flight crews for JAL's international
operation, with a minimum of twenty-four additional TAL flight crew members assigned to the
On September 15, 1953, Captain Claude Turner, Japan Air Lines' chief pilot, delivered the first
DC-6B to Japan to inaugurate JAL's international service on November 1, which would provide
two flights a week between Tokyo and San Francisco.