Follow by Email

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 13 November 1944, 8:35 AM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Good morning, Sweet, how is my darling this morning? Saturday night after writing I saw the movie aboard, "The Rhythm of the Island," and although it was amusing I haven't seen any of the dusty beauties in their native costumes running around loose. Anyway I was amused and after the picture I turned in. This hot weather really tires one out. By 9:30 or 10:00 PM. I'm really ready to hit the sack.
     Yesterday was Sunday but unless you looked at a calendar it was just like any other day of the week. Eat and sweat, work and sweat, rest and sweat, and that goes for everyday. Then around 7:00 PM we had a real cloud burst. The rain came down in buckets so we stood under the awnings and just watched. It did seem like there would be no movie, but at 7:45 it stopped raining and the many, many twinkling stairs lit up the heavens once more. The movie was "Charter Pilot" with Lynn Bari and Lloyd Nolan. Just another picture is all I can say.
     After the movie I was tired so I read in bed until ten o'clock when all lights must go out at this place.
     Our skipper got his orders to go back to the states and our executive officer will be captain in his place. The shaver has not arrived as yet so I'm selling the captain the one I have now and will keep the new one when it arrives.
     I awoke this morning and it was raining again and it is still. But who cares! As long as it rains, the sun won't shine and that makes everything much cooler and tenable.
     Although we have been here now for several days, no mail has been received. I guess when it does come I'll get a sack full all for myself (I hope so). Anyway dear, don't worry if my mail doesn't come regularly. It's simple--a problem of transportation and distribution. I'm really well and safe.
     Goodbye for now. Love and kisses and a great big hug to you my darling and my two sweet girls.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ulithi--God Bless You

Saturday 11 November 1944
Dear Linda,
     Hello Sweetie. How are you today? I hope you've been a good girl. I'm sending you some books and I want you to share them with Norma.
     It has been a long time since I wrote you but I've been very busy and conditions were such that I couldn't write when I was through working. However, I hope you are continuing to write me and I'm expecting a letter from you real soon.
     How is your painting at school coming? I hear that you are doing quite well. Maybe you'll send me one of your finished pictures.
     That's all for now honey, good night and God bless you


Saturday, December 29, 2018

WWII New Year Aboard Ship

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 31 December 1944, 11:55 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
Well dear, 1944 is almost gone but not quite forgotten. I'm afraid it has burned an indelible mark on the hearts of many ... After dinner I bought all the corpsmen a drink just as I did on Xmas. The movie tonight was "Song of the Open Road" which I had seen before but went anyway. After the movie we all pooled our resources and had a party--champagne, bourbon, rye, and even a little Southern Comfort. I took it easy because I wanted to be sure to see the old year out and the New Year in with you. I am plenty sleepy and a little high so I'm going to sign off. Without recalling past New Years Eves when we were together and very happy, I'm going to say good night my darling until tomorrow (or today)...
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 1 January 1945, 7:35 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
And so begins a new year. First, I want to tell you a little more of the celebration aboard. After I finished my letter I intended to turn in, but no chance. The men had gotten hold of pots, pans, garbage can tops and the band's drums and were parading all over the ship making a most ungodly racket. Most of the officers were fairly well oiled. We all went up to the Captain's quarters to serenade him and wish him a happy new year. We probably awoke him so I doubt if he appreciated it. Then we returned to the wardroom for a snack and finally I turned in ... The movie tonight is "Should Strangers Marry" and the cast are all unknown to me ... Darling, do you remember New Years Day of previous years? Just lounging around because we were too sleepy and tired to go anyplace. I'd listen to the football game and maybe doze off before it was all over. Well, Sweet next year we'll stay home together and rest and listen to the ball game in-between (?)...
Good night Sweetheart, the movie is about due to begin.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

1944 Christmas Aboard Ship

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 25 December 1944, 9:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     After the movie last night, "Kismet" with Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich I went to my room and finished "Strange Fruit." There were several parties on board but with you so far away I really had nothing to celebrate. So I went to bed early and awoke without a headache which is more than most of the officers did.
     Just had juice and coffee for breakfast. This being Xmas I didn't keep any office hours. By various and devious methods I got two quarts of grain alcohol and spiked the egg nog for dinner. The drink was so good that no one knew anything was in it until afterwards. The captain and the exec had one each and still don't know it was spiked. Further, just before dinner, I called all the corpsmen and a few officers. I gave each a shot. I bought the stuff in Pearl. Is it valuable! Right on our ship a quart of whiskey sold for $36.00. I was tempted to sell the three pints I had. However I preferred using a quart as I did today and save the rest for New Year's Eve. What is money anyway? I'm enclosing the menu and it was really good. All the food was set out buffet style, and we ate all we could hold.
     Spent the afternoon resting, reading and weaving. I'm going to make identical bracelets for you and our girls. At least I started something but I won't know until I'm further along. Anyway, we'll see.
     For supper tonight we just had cold cuts of turkey and ham left over with the necessary trimmings, but who could eat?
     After eating we had a good, old fashioned song fest. And when movie time came they just wouldn't stop singing until the captain came down to see the picture. The movie was a riot. It was the "Dough Girls" with Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith and Jane Wynn. It is one of the most hilarious pictures we've seen and was just the thing to cap Xmas for men away from home.
     No mail today so I have little more to add. Dear, do you remember how in past Xmas nights, the whole family came over for a drink, to view of our tree and to see our two darlings. Next year business as usual for the Steingarts.
     Dr. Bushyager got a recording from home and I can hear him playing it now. His wife and little girl (five or six) both send him love. I don't know why you had trouble sending me recordings. A package with odds and ends can be sent and no one knows the difference. One thing, pack everything well, you should see how the packages look when they arrive. Most of them are marked and many have the contents falling out.
     Good night darling, how I would love to hold you in my arms and just kiss you once. Once? Well that would be a good place to start, wouldn't it?

Xmas Dinner Menu

Autographs on Back of Menu

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ulithi--Armistice Day

NOTE IN ELEANOR'S WRITING: Received November 18, Postmarked November 12

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 11 November 1944, 6:45 PM
My Darling,
     Here it is Armistice Day and here am I in the Navy several thousand miles from home. I didn't realize what day this was until I sat down to write and looked at the calendar.
     It is so hot here that when I don't have any work I just look for a place to light and "crap out," the Navy turn for loafing. In spite of that I've been doing more work and keeping busier in the past few days than I have for several weeks. Today I saw nine patients by ten o'clock, extracted two teeth, filled five cavities and treated two men for trench mouth. At ten I made a sanitary inspection tour of the ship which took me to 10:45. By then I looked like I had taken a shower with my clothes on so I went up to the bridge and relaxed until 11:30 at which time we have lunch. After chow I played a few games of cribbage and at 1:15 I went back to work. I saw three more patients--all for gum treatment.
     Honey, do you remember the heat wave we had when Linda was a baby? How we undressed her completely and put her out in her buggy on the porch? We even have some movies of her turning on her tummy with her fuzzy head looking up at us. After this war I'm going to take a lot more movies of all of us so we'll be able to look back together and enjoy the past.
     Well Sweet, I'm going to sign off now. Last night we had "Whistling in Brooklyn" with Red Skelton. I don't know what we have tonight but anything will be OK by me. Good night my darling, I love you
As ever,

Linda during heat wave. September 1939.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

At Sea--Roosevelt Elected

NOTE ON LETTER IN ELEANOR'S WRITING: Received November 17. Postmarked November 11
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 9 November 1944 1:45 PM
My Dearest
     Here I am again. It's so blasted hot that I have a sheet of paper under my right hand and forearm to prevent this sheet I'm writing on from getting soaked from the sweat off my arm.
     I had an interesting experience today that I can talk about so here goes. I was talking to the doctor in sick bay when a young ensign who was visiting one of the patients saw my B'nai B'rith ring. He asked me what lodge I was a member of and it turned out that he is a Long Beach boy. He knows many of our friends. His name is Bill Spitzer and he is acquainted with Herman Stein, Mort Eisner, Bruce Stern, Dave Gindoff and Abe Weinberg. Isn't this a small world?
     Well, my Sweet, the election is over and Roosevelt is still president. We have a couple of "diehard" Republicans aboard and we've really had quite a time discussing politics and the future of our country. Personally I am happy about the results and do feel that our country will be better off than if Dewey had been elected.
     How is by you? I haven't received and mail since the last jackpot but I do hope to get another batch tomorrow. Don't worry about the irregularity of my mail, it just can't be helped. Anyway when I get back I'll have some interesting stories to tell.
     In the meantime, Honey, please be patient. My love for you is unending and you are in my thoughts always. Will write again tomorrow. Until then

Gil's B'nai B'rith ring has disappeared.  This pin is similar in design.

Friday, December 14, 2018

At Sea--Sanitary Inspection

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 7 November 1944, 5:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweetheart here I am again. Because there is so little I can say I'll begin with I love you my darling. Since yesterday it has been raining on and off all day and night. My routine is unchanged with the exception of one additional duty. The doctor banged his knee so I've been making the sanitary inspection throughout the ship. It only takes about an hour. But when it's hot, going up and down ladders, throughout all compartments of the ship sixty minutes is plenty long. When I'm done I really need a complete change of clothes for I was soaked.
     That is all that is new. There is plenty to eat and I get plenty of sleep. There are some interesting things I would like to tell you but they will have to wait.
     I'm going to sign off now Honey and with write more in the morning. Good night and pleasant dreams.

Wednesday 8 November 1944, 11:15 AM
My darling,
     Good morning Dear, though lord knows what's good about it. It's been raining steadily since last night and the only thing in its favor is that it is cooler.
     As I didn't make the sanitary inspection, I've been doing dentistry all morning.
     Sweet, do you remember how when it would rain, you'd bundle the kids into the car and come down to the office to pick me up? Boy, oh boy, would I love to have that happen to me today. After this war, I'm going to be a changed man. All the little things that I took for granted will be looked forward to and enjoyed to the fullest. It takes a separation such as this to wake a guy up. I really never appreciated my blessings but believe me, from now on I will.
     Well dear, I'm going to close for lack of any more small talk. With all my love I am
Devotedly yours