Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bird Mail

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 1 April 1945, 9:50 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got back from a lousy movie. It was the "Big Bonanza" with Dick Arlen and the less said about it the better.
     I was quite busy this morning but I was all through by 11:15. I went to my room and read some from "Burma Surgeon." It is quite interesting.
     After lunch six of us officers got together and went ashore for a few "short" ones. We had a couple of beers and then went shell hunting. I found a few to add to my collection.
     We got back at 5:25 so I had just enough time to shower and change for dinner. After dinner I returned to my room and lay down for a short nap. I awoke at 8:30 and dashed off to the movies. I'd missed the short subjects but the feature hadn't started It would have been just as well if I had slept right on through.
     The only mail I got today was a Dental Digest. Gosh I wish some of the "bird" mail would begin to come through. I've gotten one letter in about a week. I bet there is a whole stack for me somewhere.
     Well dear, I'm just a wee bit tight and besides there isn't a darn thing to write about so I guess I'll sign off.
     Good night sweetheart, I'll see you in my dreams.


"Bird" Mail

Monday, October 24, 2016

Counted $1,000,000

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 31 March 1945, 9:40 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, I just got back from the movie and here I am. The picture was a Charlie Chan murder story, "The Jade Mask," with Sidney Toler.
     This morning was the usual busy one. It was 11:30 before I was through. After lunch I began reading "Burma Surgeon" by Seagrave but I had some more appointments for the afternoon.
     I quit at 3:30 and began working on the wardroom mess statement. My money balanced out so the worst is over for another month.
After that I censored some mail, showered and dressed for dinner. After eating we had an unusually brilliant sunset which I shan't try to describe.
     Then the medical officer and I counted over a million dollars for the paymaster in order to certify a sum of money shown on his monthly statement. By then it was 7:30 so I went up on the fo'castle and enjoyed the cooling breeze until movie time. Now here I am as I told you before.
     No mail again today. Tomorrow I expect to hit the jackpot. The service this last week was very irregular and I'm way behind.
     Nothing new or different to say today Honey so I'll repeat those three little words, "I love you."
     Goodnight Honey, until tomorrow with hugs and kisses


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Watch on Fritz

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 30 March 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Sweetheart,
     Hello Honey, here I am again. We didn't have any movie last night so I played checkers and gossiped in the wardroom until 11:00 PM. Then I went to my room, censored a batch of mail and read for awhile.
     I awoke this morning kind of late (8:10) but didn't realize it because my watch seems to be on the fritz. That makes two to go since I left. It seems this hot, moist climate is hell on watches. I did some tinkering on it this morning and it has been running most of the day. Maybe I've fixed it.
     I did some work this morning but really didn't strain myself. By noon the strong wind had abated and the sun broke out in all its glory. It's the first time in almost a week that we've even seen the sun. After lunch I saw a few patients. I censored some mail and went up on the poop deck for a little sun. Then I returned to my room undressed, showered and read until time to dress for dinner.
     After dinner I enjoyed the cool breeze and the cloud formations, but a colorful sunset never materialized. Now here I am.
     I got one precious letter today, so you guess who it was from. It was postmarked the 18th.
     We had the Disney hit "The Three Caballeros" aboard. I enjoyed parts of it a lot. I'm sure Linda and probably even Norma would get a kick out of it.
     I'm really looking forward to some colored snaps of you. I'm sure you'll look lovely--as you always have and always will where I'm concerned.
     I do hope your Arrowhead plans materialize, but it they don't maybe you'll have other plans to make for late summer that'll be real thrilling. I don't know anything but I am just hoping.
     The movie tonight is Claudette Colbert in "Practically Yours" or "Particularly Yours." I don't know which. It is rated as 4.0 so I shan't miss it.
     No more for now Sweet so I'll sign off. Good night my Darling and dream about those happy days to come and soon I hope.

Yours as ever,

Bulova Watch from 1940s 

Friday, October 21, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 29 March 1945, 7:40 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     It just poured all night and when I awoke this morning things looked black and stormy. It has been raining steadily all day. After dinner the wind died down some.
     However toothaches and such have no respect for the weather. I was kept quite busy all morning.
     At 11:30 I went up to my room and found some mail, no letters however. There was a package containing a bunch of Sunday newspaper supplements and 2-1/2 pairs of earrings. The package was so beat up that one of the earrings must have fallen out. I received a second bill for my dental society dues. Did you pay it? You probably did because this letter was very long in coming. Also there was a package of thirty-two paper bound volumes for the library.
     After lunch I saw three more patients. Then returned to my room and finished "Wild Geese Calling." I've selected several books from those we just received for my reading in the next few days.
     Nothing new or different today. Just another day out on the Pacific too far away from the one I love.
     Well Sweetheart, I'm all through now so I'll say goodnight. Until tomorrow with loving thoughts and passionate desires I am still

Yours alone,

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday, 28 March 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am again and in much better shape than last night. I hope my letter wasn't too mixed up.
     Today was just an ordinary day. I had my appointments for the morning and was through by 11:30. This afternoon I saw two patients and then made a complete inventory of supplies on hand. We usually carry enough for six months so I had plenty to inventory.
     At 4:00 PM I went to work on another shell necklace. I think these will be much nicer. I should finish it tomorrow and then I'll make a charm bracelet of assorted shells and send them on.
     The mail today was practically barren. Just a Dental Society Bulletin and the B'nai B'rith War Service News.
     The movie tonight is not a very good one but I guess I'll go anyway. It is "Main Street After Dark" with Edward Arnold plus five reels of shorts.
     Scuttlebutt is flying around again and maybe I'll have some good news for you one of these days. Cross your fingers, eyes, legs and everything and pray!
     Gosh Honey there isn't a thing else to say but I don't believe I've told you in the last few days that "I love you and miss you." Well I do dear and just as much as you miss me and love me too, of course.
     Well, guess I'll sign off until tomorrow. Goodnight Honey I'll see you in my dreams.



Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 27 March 1945, 11:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am again. Did I have a busy morning. Besides a completely appointed morning I had six emergency patients to care for and it was twelve o'clock before I was through.
     After lunch a group of officers went ashore for a little party where some nurses were to be present, but I begged off. At 3:00 PM (I had patients until then), the captain and two other officers came down and insisted I join them and go ashore for the party. We took some steaks, sixty of them to be exact, a gallon of olives, a gallon of pickles, a pound of butter and away we went. Well it was a drunken brawl but I was a good boy and here I am. We just got back and we all had coffee before retiring.
     There was no mail today except a return on my correspondence course and a letter from Mary Regan. Do you remember her? She worked for the Board of Equalization in the Bay Cities Building and was sweet on Leon. Besides that she was a patient of mine, referred to me by Abe Cohen. Anyway she is now in the Coast Guard, stationed in Washington and is momentarily awaiting her orders to Pearl Harbor. She just received my Xmas Card and hence her writing me.
     Outside of that there is nothing new to write about. So considering the time and my present slightly (?) inebriated condition, I'll sign off.
     Good night Sweetheart, I'll be with you again tomorrow. I love you so!

Forever yours,

The Battle of Iwo Jima ended on Mar 25, 1945. Was the purpose of the party to celebrate?

Dave (Gil's brother-in-law and a Marine) must have clipped this article from the Marine Corps Gazette. The U.S.S. Ocelot was the flag for Squadron 10.

Monday, October 17, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday, 26 March 1945, 10:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     This has been one busy day. Believe it or not this is the first free time I've had since I got up this morning.
     I worked all morning and at 12:30 I took a liberty party of eighty-eight men ashore for a little recreation. It rained most of the afternoon and by the time we got back to the ship at 5:15 we were all thoroughly soaked.
     I peeled off my wet clothes and after a hot shower dressed for dinner. Just as I finished eating the exec informed me that Claude Thornhill and his show had been obtained for us for tonight and to get ready.
     The first lieutenant got his carpenters together and a small platform stage was rigged. I got the electricians busy on lighting and got our PA system hooked up. For a backdrop we hung a number of colorful signal flags. We were all ready at 7:45 and that was really making time.
     I met the entertainers on the quarterdeck and took them below. As I wrote before Jackie Cooper, Bobby Riggs (Mary Lou imitator of the radio) and several others are in the show. Claude Thornhill was an arranger for Castellanez (?spelling) as well as a band leader in his own right. His musicians are taken from many well known bands such as Goodman, Weeks, and others. The star attraction was Dennis Day and he really is good. He is an ensign. After the show he came up to the wardroom and we sat around and talked until his boat came for him. By the way, after the show we served ice cream to all hands. Now here I am.
     I hit the jackpot today. This morning, I got eight letters from you and one from your mother. When I came down to my office to write to you a few minutes ago I found two V-mails that came this afternoon, one from Libby and the other from Edward Rubin of the B'nai B'rith.
     Linda is getting to be quite the young lady. Movies on Saturday, dancing school and soon the piano. Well I'm hoping to be there when she starts in the fall.
     You mention Sophie and Fay several times. Are they the two service wives you recently met? Anyway I'm glad you've found some new congenial acquaintances.
Such dreams! I have only one girl friend and you know who she is. No matter where I go when I get back my three girls are all going there with me.
     What about my girls' Mommy? Well gee whiz can't you wait and be surprised? If you can't you'll have to anyway.
     So Jerry and Marty are still feudin'. Well it's a small world with many "small" people.
     "The Angels Sing" and "A Song to Remember" are both very enjoyable and I'm glad you got to see them.
     I didn't know Dr. Lewis was back. Guess one of your letters telling me more about it will bounce in one of these days.
     I can't tell you what kind of shots we got but it really doesn't matter now, does it?
     I really didn't enjoy the American Weeklies much. Really, I have plenty of reading matter so please don't send any more unless there are some novelty books or magazines you think I'd enjoy.
     The Coast Guard pharmacist you mentioned--does he know the Ocelot or is he just speaking generally? Don't let it get you down dear. He could be wrong.
     Well this has been a long winded letter. I hope I didn't tire you out. I'll sign off now as it's 11:20 and I should turn in.
     Good night Sweetheart and the next time dream about us being together.

Loving you always,

Going Ashore