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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Liberty

Wednesday 23 August 1944, 11:00 PM
My Darling,
     Went on liberty yesterday. Joined the Officers Club for $1.00 and got a ration of whiskey. Had lunch there and ran into Barney Silver, Leon's friend. Bummed around downtown, had a few drinks, did some window shopping and returned to the ship. We really got pie-eyed, played the accordion, sang and raised hell until I literally poured myself into my bunk. Today I have what is known as a hang-over, but a good one. However I'm not sorry. I felt like it and I got it out of my system now--yep even the alcohol.
     Worked all morning on some men from another ship and saw three patients this afternoon as well.

     Will tell you all about it tomorrow. Got three more letters yesterday and three today.  You say I sound homesick--well why not with you and the kids so many miles away. I have some gifts in mind for you and the kids but may not be able to send them until we leave this place--censorship! Wish I could say we are returning soon--so far we are waiting. As I wrote you before, several weeks may elapse before anything happens and then where we go is still too remote to even hazard a guess although it looks like we'll be heading west.
     Gosh honey, as I sat out on deck and looked at the millions of stars in the sky and felt the cool breeze blowing in from the hills, I went back to past years when we enjoyed beautiful spots together. Dear, when this is over we'll enjoy many, many such things together. I wish I could just pour out of these pages the love I have for you in my heart but you know me--all I can say is I love you! Repeat many more times. Not enough room.
     No darling there is nothing I need that I can't buy here. There are many large department stores and a large Sears. Sell the Plymouth for whatever Bob gives you. Within reason, of course. Heard the war news this evening and things are really popping. Maybe this will be over even sooner than we dared to hope and I'll come home to stay. Anyway, there's going to be a hot time in the Steingart domicile when I return. Wish I could save all your letters but room is something there isn't much of. You save mine and I'll use it as a refresher when I return and tell you all about things and such.
     Good night my Sweet. I'll see you in my dreams.

Your loving husband,
P.S. Had to cut out where I was going on liberty. You might know where I am as if you didn't.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pearl Harbor--No Cat Fever

Monday, 21 August 1944
Hello Sweetheart,
     How is my Darling today? When mail came today I hit the jackpot. Twelve letters, one from Deb, one from Mother and ten from my Sweet. That with the three I got last night just about makes up for all the days I've missed.
     Listen honey, you don't have to worry about me. No cat fever, no seasickness, and yes, no loving. But we'll make up for the last later. Don't worry so much about money. Just don't spend it on nonsense. What you need however buy. We'll get along. As for the lot in Brentwood, I'd forget it unless it is dirt cheap, which it probably is not. Remember such things as taxes, assessments for improvements, etc. You say Harry has something big on and you want to invest some money. We probably could spare a couple of thousand dollars but I'd rather put the money into something that we could turn into cash fast if it became necessary. However, write me more about it and we'll see.
     I'm glad to hear that Linda and Norma want hula skirts for hula skirts they shall have. I've been looking, but the type of pin you want still is marked by its absence wherever I've looked. I'll surprise you with something you'll like though. Wait and see.
     Honey, I would have phoned but as I explained in yesterday's letter it was impossible. Sweetheart you know how effusive I am (not).I do love you and miss you. More than you can imagine even with the companion- ship of the men aboard. Companionship which you seem to miss must be gone after. I'm sure when you get into our house next month you'll find it will be easier to do the things you'd like. Please honey, don't get discouraged. People are not interested in the troubles of others. Until school starts and even afterwards, if you are not too occupied, get back into organization work. You liked it once, even with the ulterior motive behind it, and you'll enjoy it again. Get out and meet people and they'll remember you. Stay home with your pride and hurts and you'll stay home all the time. (This is a lecture--take it to heart).
     Enjoyed those pictures of the kids and yourself but I bet I get a better one of you soon. I'll send you one of myself as soon as possible.
     To Linda: Daddy enjoyed your note. You bet you'll take piano lessons when I get back. I'll sit and listen and enjoy your music. I miss you too honey, just as I miss Mommy and Norma. And when I come home we are all going to have lots of fun together. Be a good girl and help mommy with her work and help her take care of your baby sister too.
     Eleanor dear, I wish I could remember about the $10 you mention. I gave you some money but I had so much on my mind that I paid very little attention to how much you had. Use your judgment, though I am sure that Rabbi Lifschitz is not in error.
     It's getting late and I must turn in. Good night darling and pleasant dreams. I am with you always.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Wagon Wheels

Sunday 20 August 1944
Hello Sweetheart,
     How are you today? Gosh I wish we had been together today. I had liberty and went ashore with three of the officers aboard. We had lunch at a place called "Wagon Wheels" and enjoyed a very good meal. I went ashore without expecting to have much fun. But Mr. Cox, one of the officers, knew some people and we visited with them. They were very gracious to us and we had a very pleasant afternoon. We killed about a fifth and a half of scotch and a pint of rum and when we said good bye we were feeling pretty good.
     We then returned to the ship and I found four letters for me, three from you my Sweet and one from Libby. She didn't say much and didn't send Jimmy's address and after missing a letter from you two days straight I read and reread all you said about what you and the kids are doing.
     Gee darling don't set your heart on my returning real soon. Maybe we will, but the way it looks now it won't be right away. Fact of the matter is we'll probably be here for several weeks and it may be a couple o months--who can tell what will be doing then.
     My Sweet, I do love you and miss you and what wouldn't I give for big goodnight hugs and kisses from our little ones, but I'll have to wait.
     Goodnight darling. I'll see you in my dreams.

Lt. (j.g.) G. Steingart

Wagon Wheels Restaurant
Waikiki circa 1945

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pearl Harbor--No Phone Calls

Saturday 19 August 1944
     Just another day. Kept pretty busy this morning taking care of men from one of the ships here that doesn't have a dentist. Nothing much doing outside of that. We're just waiting to see what happens next.
     I suppose you've wondered why no phone call. Well if one is based on the station here phone calls are permitted, but ship's personnel may not make any phone calls so that is that.
     Tomorrow is Sunday and I'm going on liberty at 10:30 AM. That is the thing about sea duty. When one is at sea he is on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But when we hit a port, conditions being favorable, liberty is in a sufficient amount to satisfy most of us.  You see, I have every other day from 10:30 AM to do as I like and nothing to do and no one to do it with. Gosh I wish you were here. I'm going sightseeing tomorrow. I should be able to see plenty in a whole day and then when this war is over we'll come here together and I'll really be able to show you around.
     How are my girls? I've been wondering what I could send them. Maybe as I look around I'll get some inspiration. And what would you like (besides me)? I'm going to wait until I hear from you before I buy anything foolish. Really, I'd rather buy something you particularly want instead of some useless souvenir.
     Sweetheart, don't worry about me. I'm well and safe. This separation certainly isn't going to allow us to drift apart. No as long as we have those ten happy years behind us, two darling little girls to love and care for and a whole life to live after this war is over. Just start making plans now and write me all about them and then will we enjoy life!
     Well darling, time for me to turn in. A big hug and kiss for you and another one for each of our little ones. Good night and pleasant dreams.

Loving you always,

USS Ocelot

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Natives Ride the Breakers

Friday 18 August, 1944, 10:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello my Darling. I went on liberty today and don't care if I don't go again for some time. Really the mess one has to wade through to get onto a bus or cab, into a bar for a drink, or into a cafe for a bite is simply awful. The redeeming feature is to sit in the open patio of the only hotel open now and enjoy the cool ocean breeze and watch natives ride the breakers. As I sat there I couldn't help but think back to our month at Catalina not so long ago when the whole gang sat out in from of the St. Katherine's without a care in the world.
     Well dear, before I headed into town, I went down to the dental clinic hoping to see Dr. Jackson. He had just reported in this morning and was away from the clinic getting himself squared away. I left him a note and will try to see him later. Just as I was leaving, Jerry Shapiro, a pharmacist mate who was stationed at Diego when I reported in there, greeted me. So we talked for awhile and off I went.
     I received a letter from Ruth and my sweetheart (guess who she could be) yesterday but nothing today. I better receive a big batch one of these days or else. Forget the temple membership. After this is over we're going to do more things as we like and to hell with trying to please everybody else. I enjoyed those snaps you sent me but where is the one of yourself? Buy a roll of film and have someone shoot some and send it to me pronto.
     You asked me several questions which should be answered by now. I'll bet the mail man staggered to the house just loaded down. As for things I need, there isn't anything I want (that money can buy), that I can't get here. Just send me your love and I'll send you mine and we'll both save it all up till we are together again and then??
     From the way things look now we may stay here for 2-3 weeks or more and then on to more new places. Right now it doesn't look like will be returning to the states for awhile but that is today. Tomorrow everything may be changed again (I hope).
     Good night Sweetheart till we meet tomorrow because I do feel I'm with you when I sit down and write.


Royal Hawaiian Hotel 
Waikiki Beach
The Only Hotel Open 
Circa 1940s

Military R&R

Royal Hawaiian Hotel

Friday, March 9, 2018

Pearl Harbor--WWII Hawaii Currency

Thursday, 17 August 1944
Hello Sweetheart,
     How is my darling today? I did not get any mail on Tuesday when the first batch was brought aboard. I had liberty yesterday from noon until 10:00 PM but did not go until after dinner because of some unexpected chores that came up. I'm glad I didn't leave because I finally got a letter. The underlining of the "a" means just one from you. In addition I got the Pendleton newspaper with Dick's picture in it and the dental bulletin. I guess you didn't think I'd get to my destination so fast and wrote a lot of letters via regular mail. If so I'll probably get a whole batch all at once.
     I wish I could tell you where we are going next. In fact I wish I knew or as a matter of fact I wish the navy knew. Now everything is up in the air and we all have our fingers crossed. We had several officers with "scrambled eggs" looking us over contemplating some changes but who can tell.
     Went on liberty last night and because we started so late we didn't get much chance to see the city. Maybe we'll have better luck on Friday. We saw the hotel I've named our "beer drinking club" and the beach. It was beautiful. Mr. Hansen was with me and we enjoyed just looking around. We stopped in for a drink, a thick chocolate shake, and a couple of civilians insisted on paying the check. After six o'clock hard liquor and beer are rarities here. They tell me that before six you stand in line for it. Not me.
     Well dear I'm glad all is smooth at home and that the kiddies are well.
     If you haven't done so yet get Al Klein's address and send it to me "post haste." We may be here for some time and I'd like to look him up.
     I hate writing letters and except for our daily visit I'm going to do very little except in response to any I receive. Tell Linda I enjoyed her note to me and that she and Norma and I are going to really have a whopper of a time when I get back. As for you, dear, keep everything on ice and we'll really have unfinished business galore to take care of when I do get back.

Bye my Sweet
Yours as ever
P.S. Just as I was addressing the envelope I got two letters, one from Ruth and one from you, my Sweet.

Special WWII Hawaii Currency

"Scrambled Eggs" Officer's Hat
Worn by Top Brass Navy Officers

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Reminds Me of Catalina

Tuesday August 15, 5:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     I was hoping to go on liberty tonight and see the sights. It's five o'clock but no word about any liberty tonight. They tell me the bars here close at 6:00 PM and there is a 10:00 PM curfew. It may be scuttlebutt, but I'll know by tomorrow.
     This place really reminds me of Catalina. After my first liberty I'll be able to tell you more about it. The color of the sea certainly is interesting here. It goes from a deep blue to green to light green to a white which in the distance looks like beach sand.
     The day is warm but there is a cool breeze that has been blowing constantly.
     Yesterday I had to rewrite several letters because of some insignificant items and I hardly know what to say that would be of interest and would pass the censor. However they can't stop me from loving you and missing you or even writing about it.
     Some mail was brought aboard but so far none has been distributed. Guess they are sorting it.
     Well Sweets guess I'll sign off with love to you, Linda, Norma, and the rest of the gang.


USS Ocelot