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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Abandon Ship

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 27 December 1944, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     It is now 10:20.  Just as I finished writing "10 PM" the "abandon ship" signal went off, so I grabbed my life belt and went to my station.  Just a drill, however, and though I knew it was I had to act as though it were the real thing.  Otherwise the men realize it's a drill and take their time.  So much for that.
     Well darling nothing new again today.  I did tackle the most difficult impaction I've ever done and got it out in 35 minutes.  Put in a few fillings besides and so another day's dentistry out of the way.
     I talked the captain out of 75-100 books that he had in his quarters and had already read.  I've got them in my room and have invited the ship's officers to come in and select a few to keep in their rooms until they've read them.  Then trade them around. After that I'll break them out into the ship's library.
     For the movie tonight we had a cartoon short, a musical short and a feature, "San Diego, I Love You: with Jon Hall and Louise Allbritton.  The picture itself was just another movie but I got some real pleasure out of it.  It's surprising what a picture of home or someplace near home does for a guy. There were shots of the Grant, San Diego Club, Coronado Hotel and the harbor.
     No mail again today.  That makes 4 days.  I guess I'll get a big stack all at once again.  I've heard lots of scuttlebutt today and some of it sounded real good.  I can't discuss it but I may get home sooner than we both expected.  Cross everything and pray!
     And so good night.  Pleasant dreams my darling.
Love,
Gil

U.S.S. Ocelot