Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Everyday Is Sunday

Sunday, 28 October 1945, 8:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Sunday, a day of rest. For a couple of weeks, everyday has been Sunday. I wouldn't mind a busy Monday for a change. Most of the officers were a sorry mess this morning. Such hangovers. Personally I felt fine and gave them all the ha, ha.
     It rained on and off all day so we just lay around in our hut, played a little cribbage and read. As you can see, not very much to write about.
     The enclosed snaps will give you an idea of what happened to the Ocelot. This set of eight cost me $5.00, so hold on to them. If anyone should want a copy have a negative made up and more prints run off.
     We just got back from the movies. We saw "Here Comes Kelly." Why I sat through it a second time I'll never know except there was nothing else to do.
     No news. There is lots of talk about most installations on Okinawa folding up within the next thirty days. Scuttlebutt usually has some basis, but I don't go for that kind of stuff anymore.
     I'll sign off for now and hope that in a day or two I'll have some good news to write about for a change. Goodnight Darling.

Love,
Gil

Snaps with Gil's notes






























Sunday, July 23, 2017

$20 Watch

Saturday, 27 October 1945, Midnight
Dearest Eleanor,
     We got hold of a jeep this morning and made a run down to the ship. The ship store had just received some new wristwatches. I bought a 17 jewel watch for $20. It isn't the kind I wanted, but I lost both of mine in the storm and without a timepiece I've been lost ever since.
     This camp we are staying at is part of an Ammunition Depot. The officers here have just finished building their own club. Last night they had an open house and invited the officer survivors living here to attend. Did we have a time! Personally, I've learned my capacity and when I reached my limit I stopped. Some officers haven't learned yet. Now they are in various degrees of unconsciousness. A couple will have a mess to clean up in the morning. The party itself was very nice. They served the first decent food I've eaten since I've been ashore. There was roast turkey with dressing, cranberry sauce, fresh mashed potatoes, peas, coffee, and apple pie a la mode. It was all served buffet style and I had second helpings of turkey and all the trimmings. They brought down five Red Cross girls, three nurses and an Army band. The dancing music was excellent but with a ratio of fifteen to one, cutting in became a nuisance. So I quit dancing. Trying to dance was useless, no sooner than I started someone else would cut in on me. So I just sat back and enjoyed the rat race.
     They're all howling for me to turn off the light so I'd better sign off. Goodnight Sweetheart, I'll see you in my dreams.

Love,
Gil

USS Ocelot






Saturday, July 22, 2017

Eating, Sleeping and Bitching

Friday, 26 October 1945, 9:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweetheart how are you tonight? Me? I'm fine and getting fat and sassy. As a matter of fact I'm getting just a wee bit fed up. The gold braid in Washington would have you believe that every effort is being made to demobilize and bring the men back from overseas. Yet here we sit. Sixteen officers and about two hundred men are waiting for some survey board to say the Ocelot is of no further use and may be decommissioned.
     There is supposed to be a shortage of doctors. Yet we have three doctors sitting around with no equipment or facilities. Who needs three doctors for two hundred healthy young men? The whole trouble is that there are a few captains, commodores and admirals who would be out of jobs if some of these activities were decommissioned. Then they might not be able to retain their present ranks.
     I've never complained before. As long as I had a job, equipment to work with and patients to care for, I could see a reason for being out here. Now however, I have no equipment. I've been on the beach since the 9th and haven't done a stitch of work. None of us are doing anything but eating, sleeping and bitching. Plenty of that.
     Here is what you can do. Write our congressman and tell him that you husband's ship has been through two typhoons. After each storm the crew was told that they were to return to the states. In the last typhoon the ship was lost and the crew, officers and men are living ashore just waiting for something to happen. None of us are performing any function--just eating and sleeping and waiting. From the look of things, it'll be another month before the ship will be decommissioned. Don't quote me but say you gathered this information from my letters. I'm looking for orders soon, but the way this is dragging out it, it might become necessary for me to have the necessary points to get out before I can leave here. That would run into December. Some of the other officers are writing home, too. Who know? Maybe we can get some quick action.
     There is a big picture of the Ocelot in the 16 October New York News. I'm enclosing a couple of negatives. The picture with me in it was taken the day before we abandoned ship. The other was taken the day after the storm.
     Tonight's movie was "Why Girls Leave Home." I went even though I saw it on the ship more or less recently. Outside of that there isn't any more news.
     Goodnight Darling, I love you and hope our days apart are few and soon we'll be together forever.

Yours very impatiently,
Gil







Friday, July 21, 2017

One Yen and 50 Sen

Thursday, 25 October 1945, 9:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day and still nothing happens. You can be sure of one thing about the regular Navy. They'll take their time and do nothing until they absolutely have to. Then it is rush, rush, rush.
     I made a trip over to the ship this morning to make sure that the captain sent off my request for a new assignment. Although they promised us all that we'd be sent home, nothing is happening. So I sent a letter to the Bureau informing them that my equipment has been damaged beyond repair and asked for duty in Long Beach. The captain endorsed it recommending approval. Now even if they don't send me back soon, orders from the bureau should get me back home in time for Xmas with you, Sweetheart, and our two little darlings.
     I got back my claim for lost clothing and personal gear. It comes to the grand total of $410.85. I won't need to buy any new uniforms because I have blues at home. Even counting what I lost that I could have used later, I'm still $300 ahead. Personally I'd rather not have experienced the second storm but financially I'll benefit from it.
     The mailman brought me sixteen letters ranging from the 8th to the 16th. All but four were from you. As I don't expect any more letters for a few days, I'll answer some of your questions tonight and leave some for tomorrow.
     I don't blame you for being concerned about office space. I know it is scare. Still, it'll be approximately six weeks before I'm back. I'll be darned if I want to start worrying about an office right away. For thirty days, you and I and the kids are going to be in a holiday routine without worry about business matters. Then I'll go to work and see what's cooking. Make some contact and get some leads. But as far as signing on the dotted line, I'd still rather you didn't unless the opportunity is outstanding.
     News of this last storm broke a lot faster than after the one of September 16. I know how worried you must have been, but now you know I'm okay and there is nothing to worry about. Of course there is no way of knowing for sure whether I'll get home sooner or later than I would have if the "Mighty O" had been able to sail. In any case, I'll have enough points by December so I'll be home then.
     No dear, I didn't marry a moron, but darling two and two still adds up to four. We have many expenses to face with an office to equip and insurance to pay. Besides at first, my income will be reduced to even less than I'm making now. So an economy program has to be instituted and adhered to. Now, now, don't get excited. Save it all till I get home and then I promise you'll forget all about it. At least I'll do my best to make you do so.
     I'm doing quite well on answering your letters, so I'll go through all of them after all. You seem to be getting plenty of teaching and that must keep you busy. You say you'll go to see Dr. Lewis, but all you've done is talk about it. How about scratching off a day on your calendar and taking care of it and yourself. You owe it to yourself, the kids and me too. Catch on? Let's have fun when I get home.
     Besides sufficient points, there are other ways of getting out of the Navy such as bad health. However I did not sign up for regulars and there is no record of that questionnaire. When I have points I'll get out like everyone else. Just remember that all those who have gotten out were in longer than I and most of them had as much or more overseas duty than I have. This nonsense about politics is all hooey. Way out here where I am you can't talk to the one you'd like to and letters are not very effective. Anyway when I get home and go on leave I'll be out. Until my leave is up I'll technically still be in the Navy, but I'll not have a new station to report to.
     Glad to hear Bud Schurr got back and you got to see him. It really hasn't been so long since I saw him, but so much has happened that it seems like months. It would be nice to see him when I get back.
     That Kuba Saki explosion really wiped out the receiving station. We drove by an hour after it happened. Where there had been many tents, there was nothing. The Navy announced fifteen dead. Several times that many were hurt. I can't see how the casualties could have been so small. At the time, Brinker, the pharmacist mate I wrote you about, was at the camp; he has since left for home. Hope he has contacted you by now. If he hasn't, he should in a few days. I just heard that his folks have moved to Beverly Hills and that is just around the corner.
Sorry I didn't sound excited about coming home. So many times we've had our hope up just to be disappointed. I won't believe I'm going home until I'm actually there and even then it'll be hard to believe. Really I haven't complained but the past fifteen months haven't been a picnic.
     I didn't get those 10 sen notes, but I intend to get a few to pass out as souvenirs. I had a whole mess of different monies, but they are all gone. I'm enclosing one yen and 50 sen. 15 yen are worth a $1.00 and it takes 100 sen to make 1 yen. This is legal tender on this island. The men are paid in the currency and everything is purchased in the same way. Save the dime's worth of souvenirs until I send on some more. Then you can pass a few out.
     That's the works for tonight Dear. Go to sleep and don't worry about me. "Nite" darling.

Love,
Gil















Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Salvage

Wednesday 24 October 1945, 9:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day gone to hell. During the night a squadron of mosquitoes dive bombed me and this morning I awoke with a lump on my forehead, a swollen eye and a protruded lower lip. Now the swelling if gone. The hut has been sprayed with DDT so I hope they won't invade us again tonight.
     The day went but darned if I can say how. Didn't even do any reading. Dinner tonight was the first decent meal we've had since we've been ashore. We had steak with French fries and peas. For dessert we had butterscotch pudding with peaches. Then to the movies. We had "The Angels Sing" with Dorothy Lamarr and Betty Hutton. Some time ago, we had it on the ship. A musical is good for two or three showings.
     Wish I had some new dope to give you but nary a word. We are waiting on the survey board to have their say and then we can decommission in short order. Everyone knows the Ocelot can't be salvaged, but the board still has to make a formal investigation and report. That's the way the Navy is.
    No more for tonight Sweetheart. So goodnight and pleasant dreams.

Love,
Gil

USS Ocelot


Monday, July 17, 2017

"K" and "C" Rations

23 October 1945
Dear Linda and Norma,
     Here is your daddy again. I am still in Okinawa waiting for orders to return home.
     The food here is not very good. We get lots of "K" or "C" rations and in the "K" ration I found a few things that I did like. I am sending you some soup, orange juice and some coffee for Mother. When you have dinner I want you to have them and think about me. 
I'm thinking about you all the time and looking forward to the day when we are all together again.
     No more for now my darlings. Be good and nice mother's helpers. God bless you both.
Love,
Daddy





Sunday, July 16, 2017

Big Bang

Wednesday, 23 October 1945, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     I was OD today so I had to hang around all day. In the morning, after mustering the men, we walked over to the photo lab at the CB Camp and arranged to have some film developed. Maybe I'll have some interesting pictures to send home in a few days.
     Then I read for awhile and soon it was time for lunch. At 1:00 P.M. I mustered the men again and then some more loafing around. After dinner we went to the movies and saw "Jesse James."
     When we got back from the show I found four letters from you and one from Libby. Your letters are dated 6, 8, 10, and 11 October. About office space--don't obligate yourself for anything. There will be enough time to arrange things when I get home. Why? Because I'll have at least two months to work things out, I don't want to rush into anything.
     Read the interesting article and am looking forward to when we'll be together again. In the meantime I'm returning the article to you.
     Still, your estimate of December 9 for my homecoming should hold good. This sitting around and doing nothing is driving me nuts but I'll try to make the best of it. In the meantime I'm hoping the gold braid will get off their asses and survey the Ocelot. Then she can be decommissioned in short order and we'll be able to move on.
     As for Xmas gifts, I personally won't be able to bring anything with me. The few things I had I lost. I hope we won't stop over anyplace long enough to do any shopping. Anyway we'll know in enough time if I'll be able to help you with your shopping. Even if I don't leave here until 15 November, I should still be home by 9 December.
     Received the clipping from the Outlook. All the officers got a big bang out of it. However it was cut up so that it gave all a laugh.
     Again dear, don't do anything at all about an office till I get home. Glad you dropped the new car idea. We'll have lots of time and fun arranging and planning my new office.
     In the meantime Sweet, good night and pleasant dreams.

Love,
Gil

Was this the clipping from the Outlook?