All Those Wonderful Stories...
Transocean Air Lines        1946 - 1960
   My mother, Lou Ann Turner, had been confined to bed for the last trimester of her pregnancy
with my brother Ted. Ted was delivered a month early while the Imperial flight was taking place.
I helped out by coming down with the mumps on both sides for the second time. Neither my
mother nor my grandmother could remember having had the mumps, so they hired a teen age
girl from the neighborhood to take care of me. Mother took care of Ted and my grandmother took
care of my sister Cindy. Our next door neighbor, Catherine Blinn, took mother to the hospital and
we have referred to her as our brother’s other father for years.  The doctor was most concerned
about how they could notify my dad about the baby and I’m enclosing a copy of the wire sent by
Roy Minson. I only recently discovered this while going through some family papers.
     The first airplane flight
taken by Emperor Hirohito
and the Empress was in
August of 1953.  My father,
Claude R. Turner, Jr., was on
loan to Japan Air Lines as
Chief Pilot from Transocean
Air Lines.
    My family has a number of
stories associated with the
Imperial flight.
The Emporer's Pilot
fby Claudia Cook Turner,
daughter of Chief Pilot
Claude R. Turner
     I had forgotten the story involving two of my first cousins until I was reminded by one of them
during a visit several years ago. My aunt and three cousins were visiting from Oklahoma during
the summer prior to the Imperial flight. The test flight was scheduled during their visit and my
dad took my cousins Larry (age 12) and Bob (age 11) with him to test the plane. Apparently he
did everything but turn the airplane inside out and my cousin Bob was violently air sick. While
Bob was sitting in the cabin wrapped in a blanket with his clothes in a plastic bag, Jim
Henderson walked by and said “Hey cowboy, next time bring your spurs and we’ll let you ride
on top outside”.
The three American pilots are from left to right, Claude Turner, Sid Joiner, and Jim Henderson.
I do not know the names of the Japanese crew and cabin members.  I have also enclosed the
picture taken when the Imperial gifts were given and am sorry the copy isn’t better.  The
original was wrinkled.  My father’s gifts included a sake bowl with the Imperial crest, a thirteen
petal chrysanthemum, and a set of cuff links in silver with a pearl center of the same flower
design.  My mother also had the gift cards framed.  These remain treasured family items.