All Those Wonderful Stories...
Transocean Air Lines 1946 - 1960
"During our three-day layover in Honolulu, the purser ate and slept with that paper sack, still
not opening it or counting the money," said Reid. "No one wanted to associate with him because
of that large amount of cash, so he must've figured it to be a bag full of trouble. During our flight
from Honolulu to Oakland, unknown to any of us, the purser threw the sack behind the reserve oil
tank under the lower bunk, and on our arrival at Oakland at 4 a.m., he left the plane in a hurry.
"Well, after a thirteen hour flight, I didn't feel like filling out my expense report to account for
my $1,500 advance, which was all spent but $22 anyhow, so I headed home to go to bed.
"I'd just gone to sleep when Sherwood Nichols (TAL’s Vice President/Director) banged on the
front door. He said he was sorry to have to wake me but, ahem, he needed that money to meet
the payroll. Well, I got hot under the collar and told him it was all gone but $22. Then, when I saw
his face go pale and his jaw drop about nine inches, I hollered, `well, my crew had to eat, you
"Nichols then realized that we were talking about two different bags of money. I was referring
to my expense money, and he was looking for the $75,000. 1 told him that the purser had it, and
should have turned it in. And Nichols headed back to the field.
"Well, in the meantime a maintenance man had removed the auxiliary oil tank, found the
paper sack and, thinking it was somebody's lunch, put it on a desk, but no one knew that at the
"The purser couldn't be located until twelve hours later, so it was eight o'clock that night
before the paper sack was tracked down and someone from the payroll department sent to the
hangar to retrieve it. The entire $75,000 was present and accounted for."
The $75,000 Brown Paper Sack
| A most unforgettable TAL
captain was Ran Reid, a
transplanted Texan known
for his dry sense of humor.
Reid had been flying
between Guam and Manila
during the fall of 1948. On
November 7, just as he
prepared to leave the blocks
at Guam to return to
Oakland, the station
manager ran out to hand the
purser a paper sack he said
contained $75,000. The
money was to be delivered to
Oakland for the November
During climb-out from
Guam, the purser insisted
that Reid be the one to take
the money to Oakland, but as
there was no paper work to
go with it, and because he
hadn't counted it, Captain
Reid told the purser to take
the responsibility and deliver
the money himself.
Miss Hawaii and TAL Captain Ran Reid