Transocean Air Lines 1946 - 1960
Transocean Air Lines - The First Aviation Conglomerate
The International Grill Room at the Oakland International Airport was managed by Pat O'Regan,
from Shannon, Ireland, beginning in 1950. Paul Norville, chef for the popular restaurant and coffee
shop, won four prizes at the East Bay's annual exhibition of catering arts held by the International
Stewards and Caterers Association in 1951, including the Grand Award for Overall Display. The
restaurant also provided frozen food services for the inflight meals of several major airlines and
the Military Air Transport Service at Travis AFB and Hickam Field, Honolulu.
Above: Paul Norville, chef at the International
Grill Room, with his "Around the World With
Transocean" prize winning cake.
Left: Orvis Nelson anticipating a delicious
lobster dinner to be prepard by chef Paul
Norville, as restaurant manager. Pat
O'Regan assists. Oakland, California.
TRANSOCEAN AIR LINES Taloa News Oct. 1953
International Grill Room
Sometimes many of us at the hangars are very likely to forget that the International Room is just
as important a part of Transocean Air Lines as the people who are busily occupied with the
business of either flying or maintaining the aircraft.
But after a talk with all the TAL employees at the International Room one can easily see that
although they are concerned with food instead of flying, they definitely are an important part of the
It was more than three years ago that Transocean began operating the now famous Oakland
Airport restaurant, under the direction of Douglass Johnson and Dick Derr. Pat O'Regan, fresh
from Shannon, Ireland, was one of the first managers of the International Room and was greatly
responsible for its development.
Franz Herrmann, the present manager, brings his own European influences from his
experience at the Palace Hotel in St. Moritz and the Hotel Des Bergues in Vienna. His early years
in Switzerland have prompted many of unusual menus offered at the air-minded dining room. One
of his instituted trade-marks was the popular stuffed potato of the International Room, which is
prepared with fancy bacon, onion stuffing and lots of butter. His more recent restaurant dishes
include lobster tails flown in from Africa, Blue Point oysters from Maine and of course, fresh
pineapples and papayas from the Hawaiian Islands. Franz likes to get the unusual at the best
price, for serving at the International Room, and his secret ambition is to have foreign foods
aboard every Transocean plane landing at Oakland Airport.
Along with the constant number of famous air travelers who visit the International Room, there
are many guests whose visit is still remembered. Duncan Hines, the authority on restaurant
dining, has stopped more than once at the International Room. They say he generally orders his
usual . . . roast beef . . . and ignores the foreign dishes. Many members of foreign consulates who
are among the air-travelers, are pleased to find their native dishes prepared by the restaurant.
A speed record was once set at the Transocean restaurant, when they served a complete meal
to 47 passengers in exactly twelve minutes between planes.
Business has improved during the growth of the International Room, and Dick Derr said, "Ever
since our formal opening in June 1950 we have been very encouraged to see the way public and
airport people have responded to good food and equitable prices."
Many of the TAL people pictured on these pages have been with Transocean as long as we have
been operating the restaurant. One-third of the International Room employees have their year
service pins and many are planning on the day when they will be receiving their five year pins.
FOOD IS ONLY HALF THE STORY
at the International Room. Service
is the other half and the above
group of TAL employees do their
part in taking care off it. From left
to right are: Milton Moreno,
bartender; Dale Culler, Junett
Maland, Ruth Pardini, Jessie Fink
and Ethel House, all dining room
waitresses; and Wesley Ebert,
FAST SERVICE WITH A SMILE, might well be the working motto of the above waitresses in the
International Room Coffee Shop. They are left to right: Helen Kenaley, Jackie Dwyer, Dorthea
Pryor, Ruby Davlin, Helen Caruso and Frances Mosen. When air travelers stop in at the Coffee
Shop they are usually in a hurry to catch the next plane, which prompts these waitresses to try
the impossible in order to serve them as the airplane may be taxiing up the runway.
NO MATTER WHAT HIS TITLE
or from what exotic land he
may have come, every
air-traveler must stop at the
International Room cashier's
counter. Above is Mary
Morrison, cashier, and Doris
Wall, dining room waitress,
who has been with
Transocean for more than two
FRANZ HERRMANN Manager of the International Room, poses with the restaurant sign in the
YAHN, ready to help one
of the hundreds of G.I.'s
that visit the famous
AN INSIDE VIEW of the airport dining room known by people all over the world for its foreign foods.
ONE OF THE VETERANS with the
International Room is Amy Osborn,
office manager, who has been with
them for three years. When she is
not working she likes to play golf or
tend her garden.
BEHIND THE SCENES in the International Room's trim kitchen. In the above
photo, left to right, are: Carl Herrera, pantry man; Junett Maland, dining room
waitress; James Kersh, cook; Marion Hunt, cook; and in the background Dale
Culler, dining room waitress.
DONNIE CHRISTOPHER, left, has been with the International Room since it
was taken over by Transocean. She does all the purchasing of food and
merchandise sold in the lobby, except items carried by the Taloa Trading