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Friday, July 13, 2018

Pearl Harbor--She Loved a Soldier

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
1 October 1944, 10:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling, here I am again. This has been just another day aboard. Saw four patients this AM and spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon making up some routine reports due the first of the month. Showered about 4:30 and then went topside to relax. Played a game called "football." It was quite interesting. A board is marked off like a field and a 52 card deck is used for determining the plays. After you decide whether you wish to pass, run, or kick you turn up the next card in the deck and then look on a chart which gives you the result of the play. For example: I chose to pass and turned up the 3 of diamonds. Under pass, the 3 diamonds shows a gain of 6 yards. Catch on? Really is quite amusing.
     I've ordered additional recreational material for the crew and will pick it up in the morning. By the way we had a very good movie aboard today, "She Loved a Soldier" with Paulette Goddard. It is quite cool and comfortable sitting on the fo'castle, and I must say I am enjoying our movies much more since they are being shown topside.
     How are you getting along with Tante and Dolores? It doesn't sound to be working out as well as you had hoped. Really, as long as they don't promise to be permanent, I'd keep looking. You recall, when Edna came to us the situation was no better than it is now. You never can tell who will turn up. Anyway it still is your home, not theirs and such things as parties for Dolores seem to be expecting a little too much. However, you're the boss and you'll have to make the final decision.
     How are Linda's feet these days? Is she back at dancing school? What about Norma? What does she do to pass the time away? Besides yours, I wrote five letters last night. Soon I'll be all caught up. Nothing more for now. I'll finish in the morning after mail call. Good night Sweet, pleasant dreams. I love you.

Monday 2 October 1944, 9:30 AM
     Good morning, darling, hope you slept well. Read until after midnight last night and slept soundly until I was awakened for breakfast this AM. Nothing new to tell about this morning. The mail didn't bring anything but a New Year greeting from Temple Beth Shalom on a Uniongram form signed by Nan Goldman. Am I surprised! Guess I'll have to acknowledge it.
     Sweet, do you remember the night we spent up at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood? After this war we'll go to other winter resorts and enjoy the snow. Boy, wouldn't I like some now. Have work to do now dear, so till tonight so long.


Gil had the title of the movie wrong

Monday, July 9, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Jeep

Lt (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 30 September 1944, 9:30 PM
Dearest Sweetheart,
     What a busy day! Saw a couple of patients in the morning and then chased down to the Welfare and Recreation Office on the base. When I came back I found a couple of letters from you and one from Libby. I no sooner got started reading and Jim arrived and so I postponed that pleasure and showed him around the ship. He really was surprised at the size and facilities of the Ocelot.
     Jim had lunch aboard with me and we had an amusing incident. The Mess Caterer is an elective job that no one wants particularly. The Captain announced ahead of time that I was to be the next caterer. However all the officers got together and voted for another officer who wasn't expecting any such duty and boom he is now Mess Caterer. The Captain was a little provoked but couldn't do much about it. However he did dig up something else for me to do, Mess treasurer. That is that.
     Jim came over in a jeep. So after lunch, Hansen joined us and we all drove over to a

and I ran into Alvin Klein. We had a little chat and plan to get together later. We then returned to the base and Ambie who used to be a 
main took us through a large
You can't possibly imagine how compactly built a
is. Every inch of space is taken care of and it really was an interesting experience. Then we returned to the ship and Jim had to shove off. We still had an hour before dinner so we walked over to the Officers Club and had a drink or two. They have scads of slot machines and having three quarters in my pockets I took a shot at it. Got $4 out, put $1.50 back so I'm $2.50 ahead. Then we returned to the ship for dinner. I found another letter and the money order waiting for me.
     After dinner we sat on deck and listened to a recorded radio program until movie time.  Tonight we had "Crime at Night" and it was enjoyment, a murder mystery with a lot of humor. And so here I am.
     Now for the "Eversharp program." Keep my driver's license. I won't need one until I get back. I can't tell how soon I'll be back, anything can happen. Dinner out runs from $1.50 to $3.00. Most places just serve a la carte! Haven't eaten any tropical fish, but have tasted papaya. I didn't like it in the states and still think it's too sweet. When I go on liberty I usually don't get back until past 7:45 when the movie goes on. That's why I miss the movie rather frequently on liberty days. I've got you a locket, bracelet and earrings to match but they aren't of the charm variety. Keep you panties on till they get there. You have the San Diego deposit book. Look in my records file. Whew! Do I get the $64?
     I still think you should go to meetings and to h... with what people say. I'm not worried about it so why should you care. I'll write Ethel and Doc and the Vaneteks as soon as I close here. Good night, darling, my Sweet. I love you. I do!

Sunday 1 October 1944, 10:00 AM
     Good morning, darling. Sleep well? Sunday is just another day in the Navy. Just injected my third patient and while I'm waiting for the shot to take effect I'll finish off here. Nothing new since last night. Have several first of the month reports to make and also a survey of the oral condition of the whole crew and expect to be through by tonight. Sounds like I'm optimistic but I think I can do it!
     Do you remember when we would go out for breakfast on Sunday morning just for a change? Well sweetheart, after the war we'll always have breakfast together and wherever you wish.
     Now for our daily quiz program. Your

After the war wherever we go our girls go and that includes Chicago. Frequently a couple of days will go by with no mail and then bingo! The jack-pot! Five or six all at one time. Sweet I don't care whether you write or type.  Just hearing from you and knowing all is well is all I ask for. Bye darling. I'm getting to be just like Jim except he has been away 18 months instead of the 9 weeks. I'm a man with 
Figure it out for yourself.

Jeep Ride

Gil and Jim Frug

Another of Gil and Jim

Gil and Ambie (Hansen)

Friday, July 6, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Money

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
29 September 1944, 10:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day closer to when we'll be together again. A very uneventful day.
     Had my usual juice and coffee for breakfast. Then worked for about two hours. I've arranged another beach party for the crew and that took up the rest of the morning.
     Also, Jim called this morning. He is driving over to have lunch aboard with me tomorrow. After lunch I had a little more work and then mail to read. A card from my mother, a couple of letters from you and the September Journal of the Southern California State Dental Association. After I finished reading, I had my hair cut, showered and got ready for dinner. Then I sat around on the fo'castle listening to some more recordings of radio programs made for broadcast overseas. The records play for half an hour and are just as good as the original program.  Then movies, "The Merry Monahans," with Donald O'Connor, Peggy Ryan and Jack Okie. Very good entertainment--see it when you can.  After the movie we visited for awhile on deck and then--here I am.
     You mention Mike's visit. I dropped him a line about 10 days ago. Maybe that helped. Anyway I'm glad you're able to get along and don't have to walk or ride buses. Anything that is lost in moving should be claimed for. Notify Al and let him worry about it. That is why we pay those premiums. Make a claim for the movies and glasses along with the rest. By the way did you ever get that last roll of movie film back?
     I am drawing $118 a month. When I'm at sea, $35-40 will be all I'll need. However situated the way I have been here, money just goes. Been having liberty every other day and a drink here, a cab there, and meals beside and--not enough money especially after a few shopping tours. Figure it out for yourself. Dear, a "fruit salad" pin is a must on my next shopping tour. You may wear it and when I want to wear one I'll get another. Don't worry about Dr. White and his bill, although you might suggest paying him, he'll say no. Then go out and buy him something nice. I'm sure it will be OK. That charm bracelet you mention runs into money out here, but I'll look around and see what I can do. A couple of dolls are on my Xmas list as of now. Enough for now. I'll be with you again in the morning. Good night, dearest.

Saturday 30 August 1944, 8:30 AM
     Good morning, Sweetheart. Didn't sleep well last night. Some men working on the ship made a lot of noise and woke most of the officers up. Then those mosquitoes decided they had left me alone long enough and went to work. I've several beauties--not mosquitoes--bites.
     Nothing new since last night. Do you remember how you used to make lunch and bring it up to the office and have a bite with me? Seems so long ago. After the war we'll have lunch together often, won't we dear, and you won't need to bring it up. That is all for now, will be with you again tonight.

Loving you as ever
P.S. Regarding Mrs. Numma, I advised against having her teeth extracted and she went somewhere else to have it done. Then she came to me to make her a new set of dentures; the others didn't fit (?) Unless you know her you wouldn't understand the problem. However, dear, before communicating with patients in the future regarding any complaints, let me know first if possible.


A Fruit Salad Pin

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Lunch and Dinner

Daughter Linda recalls that before the war, her parents held an open house every Wednesday evening. Two of Gil's cooking specialties were a fiery cocktail sauce and spaghetti. His crazy omelets always included onions, worcestershire sauce and tabasco. 

Lt. (j.g) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
September 28, 1944, 10:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Well here I am again. Just got back from liberty and now for our little visit. Several navy civilian employees invited us over to their house for some drinks and dinner. Nothing had been started in the way of food when we got there so I volunteered to make spaghetti. The shelves were loaded with mushrooms, tomato paste, tomato sauce and the condiments I usually use. I went to town. There were seven of us men and we sure cleaned up. I also fixed a bit of lunch, one of my crazy omelet combinations. The place was up in the hills so we left at 8:30 PM to get back at 10:00 PM and we just about made it.
     Got a letter from you this morning and am pleased to hear that you are getting settled. What happened to Wally that he is on crutches? A thirty days leave is usual when one returns from overseas.
     Glad to hear that you were too tired to write a long letter. I love to read your letters, but being so tired shows that you are keeping busy and I bet you'll sleep better.
     Just got a short note from Dr. White. He says he has had difficulty getting together with you on an appointment. Try to get your teeth completed and out of the way.
     Good night dear and I'll be with you again in the morning.

Friday 29 September 1944, 8:30 AM
     Good morning dear, isn't it wonderful what a good night's sleep will do? This climate would be ideal for the kids. You'd never have to worry about whether they were warm enough or dry. If they did get wet, they'd dry in no time. Living in a place like this does have its advantages.
     Well, I wonder what the morning mail brings. I've gotten replies to all my notes except those to Earl, Leon, Harry Sieger and Nina Hursey. Wrote Aranoff and Bergman but it is a little soon to expect a reply.
     Do you remember how much we enjoyed Wednesday night at home? After the war we'll continue but we'll know better about whom to ask.
     Bye Sweetheart must go to work now. How's about a nice big kiss before I go?

I love you,

Friday, June 29, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Sweetie-pie

Thursday, 28 September 1944
Dear Linda,
     How is my big girl today? How are you getting along in school? Are you glad to be back on Euclid Street and be able to play with Dorene and Mary Lou?
     I just bought cute pinafores for you and Norma and will send it off as soon as possible. I know you'll like yours and I bet you and Norma will look real pretty in them.
     Mother tells me that you've been a good girl and I'm very glad to hear that. Keep up the good work and Daddy will have several nice surprises for you.
     Bye sweetie-pie, be sure to write me real soon.


House on Euclid Street

Were Linda and Norma wearing the pinafores mentioned?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Candles

Lt (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 27 September 1944, 10:00 PM
Good evening Dearest,
     Just got back from the movie. The picture was "The Whistler" with Richard Dix. I think we saw it together in Diego. Anyway, it was something to pass the time away.
     This has been a rather uneventful day. Worked this morning and after lunch got permission to attend the Yizkor Service. The service was simple and the sermon to the point. There were three Yahtzeit candles burning in the pulpit. One memorializing the parents of those present who had passed on, the second in memory of the Jews who had been killed by the Nazis in Europe and the third in memory of our shipmates and comrades who gave their lives in this war. Wish you could have heard the sermon. The essence of it is that no one lives a complete life. All die leaving work to be done and it is up to the living to continue and finish the job that those that have gone on started.
     When I returned I found another letter from you. The news and tone of the missive made me feel much better. Now that Norma is well and you have someone to help you I hope that you'll take it easy and not wear yourself out or worry about me.
     Now for the quiz program. I don't know about the candy situation because I've never gone out to buy any. However I still have some of the taffies left so you can forget that. As far as Xmas gifts forget that also. If I want to pass any out I'll be able to handle it OK. And "do you really like my picture?" Silly girl. I'm nuts about it though I must say that a smile will go a long, long way. A snap showing that you can still smile will make me very happy. That is all for now dear, I'll finish in the morning.  Good night dearest.

Thursday 28 September 1944, 7:55 AM
     Good morning Sweet, how about a nice hug and kiss. Mm, thank you. Gee, we sure slept well last night, didn't we. The kids didn't make a sound all night, guess they're all well now. Swell!!
     Well dear, the isn't much more to tell since last night. I read a magazine for about half an hour after I got into my sack and then turned the light out. This morning seems fresh and cool. Had my usual juice and coffee for breakfast and soon my first patient will be here. Do you remember how, at times, you'd get up and join me when I had my coffee-cake and milk before I dashed off to work? Those were the days. After this war you and I will do everything together, even down to eating breakfast.
     And so, my love, my darling, I must close again. I'll be with you again this evening. Until then

With all my love
P.S. When shall I begin addressing mail to 714 Euclid?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Kol Nidre Service

Because of censorship, Lt. (j.g.) Steingart couldn't say the the Ocelot was flagship of Service Squadron 10 (a floating supply and repair base). Therefore, the ship would be "safely" removed from the front.

Lt (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 26 September 1944,9:45 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got back from the Kol Nidre service and found six letters waiting for me. You see I had liberty today. I didn't get back to the ship until it was time to go to the service so the exec and I shoved off immediately. The Captain hasn't attended any of the services as far as I know. I enjoyed this service much more than the last one because the place was much larger and cooler. The service itself was quite simple and the sermon was one that could well be repeated in all houses of worship. But then the chaplain wasn't at all concerned about keeping his pulpit or pleasing Mr. and Mrs. Gotrock who contributed lavishly to the building fund. He spoke his mind and we listened and liked it.
     While on liberty today I bought a couple of cute pinafores for the kids. Both are alike. I hope they fit because they set me back $8.80. Glad pay day is soon because with all the shopping I've done I have very little left. Besides I will have to pay $25.00 to the mess out of my next pay which will leave me about $35 for the next two weeks.
     This garden cafe I mentioned turned out to be a private club that opened its doors to officers. Because they close at 7:00 P.M. all one can do there is drink and eat. I imagine though that they've really had some beautiful affairs when times were normal.
     You ask if I enjoy your long letters. That is what I and all the others aboard live for, a letter from home. Regarding the San Diego business you ask about, everything is OK. As far as my getting back to the states before my present tour of duty is up, the chances are very slim indeed. I'll consider any such event as "manna" from heaven.
     Regarding music, how about sending along those dime store booklets you purchased last year. Also send along the music notes I have.  There is a piano and I might find time to practice if I had the chords and base forms to follow. There are two note books, send them both.
     Will finish in the morning dear, good night and sleep well.

Wednesday 10:45 AM
     Good morning Sweet. Did you sleep well? Did both our girls behave all night and not disturb you?
     This has been a busy morning and this is the first free time I've had. No more mail this morning but all the letters I got yesterday afternoon should keep me until 1:00 PM when I'll look for more. I got a letters from the "Gs", Deb and Dave, Miss Earnest and three from my Sweetheart. Sounds like you had a busy week-end planned and now that Norma is well again you should take it easy and not overdo.
     Tomorrow my photos should be ready and I'll send them right along. Will know more about Xmas card by then also (I hope)
     There is no use trying to guess where we are going next. I don't know so how can I tell you. We will probably receive casualties because we are equipped to handle them but we won't be a hospital ship and when we get there it'll be all over but the shouting.
     Do you remember how I always wanted to be on the go and never wished to stay home? Well dear after this war I'll be satisfied to remain anywhere as long as I have you and our girls with us.
     Enough for now dear. I want to get this off right away. Goodbye for now, will visit with you again tonight.

With all my love,

Photo of Gil