Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Prints


Note: Gil misdated the letter. Monday was 29 October 1945

Monday, 30 October 1945, 8:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling, here I am again. It poured all night and has rained on and off all day long. This morning I took an officer, the skipper of the YP238 and one of our own enlisted men over to the CBs for treatment. I wound up by extracting a tooth for each of them.
     This afternoon Pete Leslie, the chief engineer, and I went over to the CB photo lab and got the enclosed prints. Leslie has the negatives and has promised me some enlargements when he gets home. However he won't be released until February or March, so hold on to the prints.
     The mail brought me seven letters from you and one each from your mother, my mother and Dave. I'm glad you are continuing to write. We expected to be on our way home by now, but so far nothing has happened. Personally, I think something will break within a week or so, but that's just what I think.
     Of my clothes, I have my blue raincoat, greys, some underwear and socks. All that remains of my souvenirs is a box of shells. Oh yes, I do have the picture album. I made sure that it was safe before I got off.
     Dr. Bushyager didn't get off till about a week ago. We abandoned ship in the raft and had whatever medical records we could get hold of were with us.
     We've been getting quite a laugh out of the news reports. They are all distorted and full of misinformation. As I've written before, the Ocelot had several casualties. The dope about several of the other ships is confused as well. Maybe it's better that way.
     The Xmas cards sound very nice. Go ahead and get them. Seeing as how I'm being compensated fully by the Navy for my loss of clothes and personal property, don't do anything with Al, at least for the time being. So far I haven't bought anything but the watch and shaver. I have two issues of field greens, a fur lined jacket, field shoes, two changes of khakis and one of greys. I intend to make that do till I get home. Anyway, if I do have to buy anything more, it won't be much.
     Tonight's movie was another repeat "Patrick the Great," but I went just the same.
     Goodnight Sweet. Soon we'll be together. Love and kisses from

Your loving husband,
Gil

The Prints


The Captain and Exec of the "Mighty O"


Ocelot and bow of Nestor


APL Ritz Carlton and stern of Nestor


The rafts to the Nester and Ocelot


The Ocelot again


Here is that mess again


Another shipwreck


More ships aground


Lt. Peter J Leslie


The Ocelot, Nester and YP238


A bridge of rafts to the Nester and Ocelot


Distorted News Report



Transcript of letters that Eleanor typed and sent to newspapers.








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