Saturday, April 30, 2016

33-1/3 Disc

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 14 December 1944, 8:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just came down from the early movie. I don't know when I've enjoyed anything so much. It was "Casanova Brown" with Gary Cooper, Theresa Wright, Frank Morgan and Anita Louise. You must see it. I'll not spoil it by telling you about it.
     No mail today, just the regular routine. Saw a few patients in the morning, three off another ship and an additional one this afternoon.
     We've worked out something different for our Xmas menu. I'll send it along to you as soon as they're run. By the way, enclosed is an additional bit of humor. Save it.
     I've been catching up on my mail. Wrote Libby, the Bergmans, Ruth and your mother, Ethyl and Ward Gilman. Will do another stack tonight and in a couple of days maybe I'll be all caught up.
     Ambie is feeling better. All patients are the same when they are on the mend. Complaints galore, but no sympathy from anyone.
     Just for lack of something different to do, I'm going to raise a mustache and a goatee, get a picture taken and zip it off again.
     Dear, get Dave to buy a roll of 35 mm film for a miniature camera (black and white) and air mail it to me. Also if it is possible to make recordings of some of our party records I could sure use them. One disc recorded at 33-1/3 speed should accommodate five or six records. Try it and see what you can do.
     Darling, do you remember Linda's first Xmas? She really didn't know what it was about but we did. After the war we'll do as before and enjoy all events to the fullest.
     Good night my love, my sweet, how I wish you were here of I was there. Gimme a kiss! Another! Let's go to bed.


33 1/3 Disc

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 13 December 1944, 7:10 P.M.
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello dear. While Alexander (my corpsman) was cleaning my teeth I got twelve pieces of mail. I could hardly wait for him to finish. I got a letter from your mother a letter and a card from my mother, a Xmas card from Sam Green (surprised?), a letter from Ethel, one from Deb, the B'nai B'rith Magazine you sent and five letters from you ranging from November 29 to December 5. Am I behind now! I'll have to take a day off to catch up.
     Gee, I'm sorry you didn't get the corsage I ordered for your birthday. I checked with the ship service officer and he thought that possible it got mixed up with the Xmas orders and that you'd probably get it for Xmas. However if delivery is not made, a check for the full amount will be forwarded to you. The same holds good for the dolls so we'll just have to wait and see.
     Nothing much doing today. I had my teeth cleaned in the morning and rehearsed our Glee Club in the afternoon. It has been raining more or less constantly all day long and it's cooled down to 80 degrees. Isn't that wonderful. Going to the second movie rain or not. The picture is "The Conspirators" with Hedy Lamarr, Peter Lore, Sidney Greenstreet and Paul Henroid (spelling?) and it has a 3.9 rating.
     Now to you letters. It seems like the kids are conspiring to make things tough. Cold and more colds! Don't let it get you down. Talking about the kids and illness, Dr. Sieger never did answer my letter. Wonder if he even got it. I'll drop him a Xmas greeting if and when they arrive.
     That bond show sounds swell, wish I could have sat there with you and held your hand. And be careful you drunkee you never had two drinks with me around. My how times have changed. Seriously though I'm glad you're getting out and taking a more active interest in B'nai B'rith work. Time will pass so much faster. A couple of your letters around Thanksgiving sounded so depressing but now you seem to have snapped out of it (thank God).
     No got Nescafe. And I'm not in the South Pacific even though many men on board make the same mistake. However the rest of the description of the island is 4.0 or should I say islands. I bet they don't even show on your maps although the atlas I have does show them as several fly specks which is more than some of the large wall maps we have around. As a matter of fact very little was known about these islands even as recently as the time I came aboard this ship.
     I wish I knew how long we'll stay here. It all depends on the progress of the war. We most certainly won't be here for two more months. We could be ordered on most any time (and it can't be too soon for me).
     As I wrote you some time ago, Captain Hartfield is our exec. Our Xmas Menu is going to be very interesting and I'll send you a copy. I am working on some details for it now.     

     I can't tell you much of the geography of these islands without disclosing our whereabouts.
     Darling my plans for the future keep changing all the time. As a matter of fact all I really think about and want is to be back with you and kiddies. The rest won't matter. Courses of study will be available in many places and I'll choose only after very careful consideration. Honey, do you remember how we were always making plans? Well I'm still planning for the future, how to make up to you for all the unhappiness and lonesomeness that this war has brought to us.
     Good night my darling. Love and kisses to you and my, or I should say our, darlings


Glee Club Song Sheets 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dinner with Captain

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 12 December 1944
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, how is my love today? This morning I awoke with my cough practically gone and feeling quite chipper. Took care of my appointments in short order and then selected a few choice library books for my new bookshelf. After I read what I've chosen, I'll exchange them for others. Any way my room looks very homey now with my family, lots of books and pin up girls besides.
     This afternoon we had the first meeting of our Glee Club and it looks like we'll have a nice organization. It was called for 2:00 P.M. but I had to go around and round up enough men to get started. But once we began, other began to drift in and when I said, "Let's quit" at 3:30 PM they said "OK" but sang several additional numbers before finally breaking up. After tomorrow's rehearsal I'm going to spring a song fest on the boys before movies and use our glee club as a lead off group. Will tell you more about it tomorrow night.
     The captain invited me up to dinner again tonight. He also had another ship's officer and the Protestant chaplain as guests. I enjoyed the best steak dinner since I put on a uniform. The steak was delicious and tender and done just right. I can just see you drooling.
     After dinner I went to the movie "Heavenly Body" with Hedy Lamarr and William Powell. I saw it before. I believe with you. It was amusing.
     Well honey, no mail today so I've not much more to write. Do you remember when all I had to do was dial the phone to talk to you? And now---darn! Oh well after the war telephones will be handy as ever.
     Good night darling. I do love you more than I could possibly say on paper so,


Some song sheet pages

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Flag Ship

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 11 December 1944, 9:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Got eight pieces of mail today just because you're stuffing the mail bag. All from you except one from your mother and a card from the Southern California Dental Society. Just to show you how the mail is: yesterday's letters were postmarked December 1 and 2, but today's were marked November 21, 24, 27 and 29.
    I had hoped to hear that you liked the corsage I sent you for your birthday but I guess that'll also come late. Gee, I hope the kid's dolls come in time for Xmas. You see, I ordered everything through the Army Exchange Service; they are supposed to be reliable. Bet the corsage comes for Xmas! Well you'll know it was for you birthday and I do hope you like it.
     Because I haven't been getting your mail chronologically, everything seems mixed up. Now you're teaching, now you're not. I hope my letters aren't all mixed up as a result. Anyway you can be sure that I'm writing every day so leave room for any that haven't arrived yet.
     Your Cousin Leon (phooey) has been in the Navy a long time but he doesn't know all the answers by any means. He'll probably be in the Navy a long while because he is single and I bet he's beginning to like the life. Of course, if he gets sent out again and has to sweat without any women or liquor for relaxation he'll change his tune and write "why the hell doesn't everybody write--salam!!" Well as you know by now we aren't on an APA. (attack personnel transport). Now I may say that we are a flag ship but I can't say what the nature of our duty is.
     As far as the length of service, it varies. Anytime after a year I will expect orders. On the other hand, shore based men overseas seem to wait twenty-four months before new orders-- in spite of what Leon says. And wasn't it thoughtful of him to forget Norma? When this is over and I'm home don't let me catch you going out of your way for him even if your mother does wish for "peace in the family."
     So Dick is trying to get into the merchant marine. I do hope he makes it but there are many slips between the dock and the ship and I won't be surprised to hear the Navy got him.
     No dear there are no natives around, not even monkeys. The only native life I've seen were some ugly looking lizards. They tell me that even the fish around here are unsafe to eat unless you know the varieties. Many are poisonous. Also there are many sharks.
     Regarding the Teaban account, it should be in good shape. If you couldn't interpret my records, it was because I never could get you to look at them while I was home. Oh well, who cares?
     I finally picked up a mild cold and have been coughing a little. I do feel much better this evening. I took it easy today though I did see five or six patients. This evening we had "Shine On Harvest Moon" and I enjoyed seeing it again. Right in the middle it poured but I came prepared with a rain coat so I was nice and dry.
     Sweetheart, do you remember when Edna (no. 1) walked in on our loving. My were you embarrassed! Was I sore! Well, when I get back I won't let anything stop us. Will you?
     Goodnight darling, I do love you and want you all the time.


U.S.S. Ocelot IX-110


Monday, April 25, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 10 December 1944
Dearest Sweetheart,
     Am I thrilled! I got three letters today, two from you and one from Deb containing the color prints of our girls. Gosh they look sweet. What wouldn't I give to just hold them in my arms and tussle with them tonight?
     Well this was typical Sunday. Worked this morning and chased around in the afternoon getting things ready for religious services. Everything went off smoothly and everybody is happy. After that I censored some mail, showered and relaxed in my sack with a book. I gave up "Prodigal Women; " it was getting too involved to read in short snatches. Now I'm halfway through "Impatient Virgin" by Donald Henderson Clarke.
     Now back to my mail. I didn't get any mail from you dated the 28th or 29th of November. Today's are dated November 30th and December 1st. Now, did you get the corsage I ordered for you on your birthday? Even if you've written once, please answer again.
     We had new officers report aboard today and three more are due in a day or two. Boy, some of our men in a dither. The big question is who is going back? Guess we'll just wait and see. I know I'm staying because the new men are all ensigns.
     We have Hersheys aboard but they'll never get to you in any condition for eating. However I'm going to send off some more gum next week.
     So Anne went to join Joe. They probably won't be together long. The way green men are being shipped out, it looks as if a places like the Great Lakes will soon be a ghost camps. Besides, they really need experienced men to handle mail in the forward areas. Lack of experience and transportation are the two things that materially effect mail delivery.
     I do hope that Norma's indisposition is a thing of the past. Kids get things fast and get rid of them just as rapidly.
     Those old magazines will be appreciated by all of us no matter how old they are. I'm putting any magazines I get hold of into circulation via the library. They don't last long, but they do serve their purpose.
     I'll say I'll hang onto the pictures. As a matter of fact my room is beginning to look like a picture gallery with my family and pin up girls.
     I have indicated twice now my choice of shore station as Long Beach Naval Hospital and when the time comes I will send a written request for that appointment. You see the commanding officer sends in a fitness report on each officer grading him as to leadership, morals, ability and many other qualities. He further makes any remarks concerning the individual in question. Each officer fills out a part indicating his choice of next shore station and ship. I chose Long Beach so we'll see.
     By the way that night and morning schedule sounds very good. We'll see what can be done about carrying it out. Yes'm I agree.
     I'm going to close now and go to the movie "Roger Touhy, Gangster" and then to bed. Good night Sweetheart till tomorrow.


Long Beach Naval Hospital

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hot Appendectomy

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Saturday 9 December 1944, 10:10
My Dearest
     Got three letters today--two from you and one from Libby acknowledging my letter. However I didn't like the tone of your letters. Sounded like you were getting down in the dumps again. Buck up honey, you've got to. Besides who knows what might happen out here and send me back to you. I heard some talk today that may change things around here but I can't discuss it now.
     This morning I saw three patients and then made an inspection of the ship. Then I found out that Ambie had turned in with an acute appendix and they were getting the surgery ready to operate so--I joined in with the festivities. It was a tough one and lasted 1 hour and 20 min. and was it hot! It was so hot that two of the corpsmen almost passed out with the heat and had to leave the surgery. When it was over the doctor and all the rest of us were washed up. However, a little air and some cold fruit juice (plus two hours in the sack) and we were in top shape again.
     Am organizing a choral group for Sunday services and Xmas. Also planning a party for the men but so far my plans are wild ideas. I'll talk to the skipper tomorrow and see what's what.
     Read a little more of "Prodigal Women." It's a long book and I don't seem to be able to find much time to read. I'll finish it someday and then I'll read "Strange Fruit."
     Am having a book shelf put in my room. Little by little it's getting quite comfy. Yes, I do have one room mate, Cox whom I've mentioned before.
     As far as Ruth and Harry are concerned, I really think it is all Ruth. After all she is your sister and when Deb was alone it was the same story. Harry never left his sister Goldie out in the cold and it should be Ruth's place to see that you are not alone either. Ah, well, we've gone over that so many times that it is disgusting. What I should do is write and tell them off in no uncertain words and leave it at that. Well, we'll see.
     So you're moving to Long Beach? Well! If I get stationed there you'll stay in Santa Monica and I'll commute. Haven't you learned yet?
     Yes dear air mail takes 7 to 10 days but regular mail takes better than three weeks. I hope the cards get here soon so I can get them off.
     Honey, I'm completely run down now. Oh yes, the movie tonight was Abbott and Costello in "It Ain't Hay." They always give me a laugh even the second viewing. Sweet, do you remember the open house we had when I remodeled my office? My wasn't I proud of my office and my first lady. Well wait until you see my new office. After this war Dr. Steingart will really show them how.
     One of the magazines I got recently was the Southern California State Journal. It seems that both UCLA and USC are planning post-grad courses for service dentists. I could take them and practice at the same time. The $75 a month should come in handy and I ought to be able to make expenses out of my work in my office.
     Such plans, guess we'll just have to wait and see what develops.
     Good night, Sweetheart, till we meet tomorrow. I love you so-o-o-o much

U.S.S. Ocelot Medical Officers
Dr. Steingart and Dr. Bushyager

Friday, April 22, 2016

Black Outs

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 8 December 1944, 10:10 PM
My Dearest,
     Couldn't find time to write before the movie because of certain things that needed my attention, so here I am after the picture.
     Last night the movie was a fair one. It was "Headin' for God's Country" with a lot of unknowns.
     This morning I had my usual busy morning, and I worked through till 11:30. Then I distributed the V-mail Xmas greetings. So now I've got that off my mind. The mail today brought those song books and calendar from our darlings and a magazine you sent on to me.
     This afternoon I got the yeoman, who has been assigned to me, to help with my nonprofessional duties, to cut several stencils for song sheets. I gave up the slides and will endeavor to have enough light on deck to read the words from sheets. After that I went back to "Prodigal Women" and before I knew it was 5:30 and time to shower, shave and change for dinner.
     This evening I supervised the installation of our record player in sick bay. I had it moved down there so that I could control the playing of it and the records used. By the way, I played the recording Dave sent about the dentist and it went over the whole ship. Everybody got a laugh out of it.
     Tonight's picture was a Hopalong Cassidy that I hadn't seen and a short, in color, about trained eagles and dragons. Very interesting.
     Darling do you remember the black outs in the early days of the war and the trouble they had getting effective results? Well you should see how it's done in the Navy. The alarm goes off and the men seem to fly to their stations and in no time (seemingly), all stations are fully manned and if it's night time all lights except battle lights are out. My station is in the forward battle dressing station. I have an emergency operating room and dressing station all set up in a few minutes. I have three corpsmen as assistants. Don't take this to indicate that I am in a danger zone. We just don't take chances. When any contact--undersea, surface or air is made--GQ (battle stations) is immediately sounded and everybody moves but fast. Well dear, after the war there won't be any more blackouts and when we go into the dark we'll have better reasons for doing so.
     Good night my Sweet, I love you dearly but I still haven't any poetry to spout.


Song Sheets

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 7 December 1944, 7:40 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Well, here I be again. The movie last night "Are Husbands Necessary" was good but old. So old that though we both had seen it I couldn't remember a thing about it. It starred Betty Fields and Ray Milland and was about the dumb but cute young wife and her husband, a bank second vice president and the troubles the wife got the worse half into.
     Today the mail brought that crossword puzzle book and some literature from the medical department. I haven't done a puzzle in months but I know it'll be fun.
     This has been a bitch of a day. Saw eleven patients. Four from one ship, two from another and one from a third. The remaining four were ship's company. When I got through I had done eleven fillings, two extractions, two prophys and three treatments. I finished at 3:00 PM and then censored some mail. Then I played checkers from four till five at which time I showered, shaved and changed for dinner. You know I'm mess treasurer and I've got it figured now so that our food bill should only run about fifty cents a day. Nobody believes me but they will when they see the statement at the end of the month. I can't explain how I'm doing this without divulging censorable facts.
     After dinner we stood around on the bridge and talked for almost an hour. I remarked this evening that the heat didn't seem to worry me anymore and we all decided we were just getting acclimated. Still sick bay is full with "cat fever," several pneumonias and many ambulatory heat rash patients. So far no complaints from me. Thank goodness.
     Darling do you remember how I got sick before taking my physical and doped myself up to pass without having to go back? Well, I'm disgustingly healthy even out here and believe me some of the young bucks are always complaining about something.
     Good night Darling. I don't know what the movie is, but I'm going anyway. I love you, I love you, I do. Kisses and hugs galore to my two Darlings and my Sweet.


U.S.S. Ocelot

Monday, April 18, 2016

Case of Beer $1.50

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 6 December 1944, 7:00 PM 
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling, how is my Sweet today? Now that we are having showing movies nightly I'll write before I go and take in the second show.
     This morning, right after breakfast, I took a boat over to one of the supply barges in the harbor and arranged a purchase of 300 cases of beer at $1.50 per case. The beer is for ship's company when they go ashore on liberty. That way we save 50 cents a case and can give the men as much as we want to. Otherwise we are limited to 3 cans per man.
     When I got back I went to work and kept busy in my office until 11:20. Then I visited for a few minutes with the skipper before eating lunch.
     After eating I read some of "Prodigal Women" and censored some mail. At 2:00 PM I went back to my office as I had a couple of appointments. Then I straightened out the locker where I keep all the games and passed out a few to the crew. Then I showered and relax with my book until dinner and here I am.
     Today I got three more letters and that cute card from you . It seems that ten days is about as fast as I can expect mail from you although once or twice I got some in eight.
     Dave is correct about APAs. They carry troops and enough cargo for the initial attack. However why worry anymore about that? The Ocelot is definitely not a combat ship nor is it to be used in any invasions.
     We have a ship's newspaper and all news is received by radio over a special broadcast. So I'm keeping up with football as well as the new. We pick up a US station from the Philippines and "Tokyo Rose" very often
     Your day at the races sounds very interesting. Take it easy and don't lose you "shirt."
     Dear I am writing every day. You know about the couple of times I missed, and I promised not to do that again and I haven't. Be patient, some of those batches of letters covered a span of seven to eight days.
     Don't worry about my "whoozis." It's in fine shape and getting plenty of rest for the big event of 1945. Such dreams--tsk, tsk, tsk.
     Sounds like you are a little friendlier with Mary. I know that'll make things easier.
     About the accounts: They should all be good, though slow. Keep plugging. 25% is as good in our bank as in Clark's or Selder's.
     The movie tonight is "Are Husbands Necessary" and I won't ask you the answer. Will tell you about it tomorrow.
     Dear, do you remember the surprise you got every time I got a big case? We'll go through that routine all over again after the war.
     Well sweetheart, I am managing a little more than my usual short note and I'm enjoying writing as much as you enjoy reading it. Good night my Sweet, till tomorrow


Gil and Engineering Officer drinking beer on Ulithi

Link to video of Ulithi Anchorage on 6 December 1944

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ration Stamps

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Tuesday 5 December 1944, 9:55 PM 
My Dearest,
     Hello Darling, I never thought just a letter from home could make me so happy, especially when that letter is from my Sweet. I got eight letters, five from you, one from my mother (card), one from Libby and one addressed to the chaplain. I pinch hit for the chaplain because there isn't one.
     Libby seemed concerned about me because she hadn't heard lately but she should receive my last letter soon now. The one addressed to the chaplain was from a worried mother about her boy. She hadn't heard in three weeks. He really has been writing. Anyway in the morning, I'll get a letter off reassuring her that all is well with her son.
     Not let's get back to us. Leon is slightly mixed up about his ships. An APA is a transport used to bring men up in attack. They aren't called even that any more. Now they are AP with the last "A" dropped. The innards of the ship are the same as any troop transport. Anyway don't worry we aren't that nor are we participating in any invasions. I didn't say we weren't going to the Philippines. I said we weren't there. If and when we get there things should be well under control. Spitzer was with us until his ship came in and then he left to join his outfit. For a while we had many officers aboard and were quite crowded. As I explained it was only by accident that we got to talking. Just a day or so before he left.
     The size of the ship is still the same, it always was a fairly large one and with a lot of men aboard sanitation is vital, hence the thorough daily inspections.
     Yes dear, Lt. Samuels is no longer our captain and the exec will be the skipper from now until relieved, not temporarily. I gave Samuels your phone and he may call collect although I doubt that he will go to all that trouble. I didn't tell you sooner lest you'd hang (?) around anticipating a call that never materialized.
     Yes, we all enjoy movies. Right now, I'm soaked. It poured as usual just in the middle of the picture. It was "Invisible Stripes" with Raft and Bogart. At least five years old but good and we got a kick out of it.
     We'll probably be here for some time but there is no telling. A few victories and off we go to new places. I doubt whether we'll go back to the Hawaiians for a while. As a matter of fact the next time I see that place will probably be on my way home. Guam isn't our locality but we're not very far from it.
     OK Sweet that jewelry ensemble is a hit. I now have $149 to my credit and my food bill for this month is paid. Unless I run into some unexpected civilization, by the time I get home, I should have quite a wad saved up. Don't worry about my uniforms, they are well cared for and they still fit. As a matter of fact the khakis are size 36 and my greys were 38.
     The food is still swell. We have large refrigeration space and carry enough fresh food to last three months or more, depending on how many we have aboard. In fact we could get along fairly well for 6 months without taking on any addition supplies. Yesterday we had chop suey and noodles for one meal and creamed chicken for dinner. Today we had meatloaf and beef stew. For breakfast you can have all of hot cakes, eggs (any style), French toast, sausage, bacon, fruit juice, powdered milk (when cold it tastes OK), canned whole figs, toast, butter and coffee. No ration stamps either. We make our own ice cream and the cream pies the bakers make are the best I've ever eaten. I can see your mouth watering and it's really the way it reads. In spite of it all though what wouldn't I give for one of you home cooked meals!
     Catching up on correspondence seems an endless job. Xmas greetings will have to take the place of many letters this month.
     Go a little south dear and see what you find. Who cares what Sylvia thinks? I'll take you as you are and how I'll love it--and you will too. I hope.
     I hope I'll be home by summer. Thirty days leave spent at Lake Arrowhead sounds well. Make plans to go there anyway and with a little luck I'll join you. I can dream can't I?
     I do hope Dave gets sent to officers training but frankly I doubt whether he will. It is a long story but from what many ensigns have told me he just isn't eligible. Don't say anything to Deb or him about it.
     Gosh, my clothes are wet but there is plenty of sweat mixed in with the rain.
     Forget about a Xmas job. Are you crazy? Waiting on people for eight hours in a Xmas rush is a lot different than teaching school and don't forget you still have two darlings at home to care for.
     Today was just another day. Worked in the morning. After lunch I censored some mail then the skipper, Cox (my roomy) and two other officers when ashore for a couple of drinks. The club didn't have any beer so we drank cokes. At three they serve whiskey for an hour but there was such a mob that one drink apiece was all we tried to get. Then we returned to the ship.
     Well, what a long winded letter! A fifty minute visit. What a swell one. Dear, do you remember how we'd always recount the day's events when I came home from work? After the war let's continue with that too.
     Good night my love, my darling. I love you with all my heart and soul.