Monday, May 23, 2016

Battle Scarred World


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 30 December 1944, 9:40 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     I was sure I would get some more mail, but nothing materialized. So all I can tell you is the same thing over and over again.
     We had an inspection of the personnel and the ship. I went around with the captain and it was past 11:00 AM before were through inspecting.
     After lunch I had a couple of patients appointed so I did a little work. Then I censored some mail. We've had three new ensigns due on board for quite some time. They finally arrived. Orders for the men they are to relieve aren't in yet so our officers' quarters are slightly cramped. We have one in our room and one each in two of the other rooms. I knew I should have gotten rid of that upper bunk some dark night (just kidding). He's a nice chap, there is plenty of room and besides someone will leave and make more space again.
     Before dinner I showered and changed. After eating I joined a few officers for a little chat up on the bridge. The movie tonight wasn't entertaining but still an intensely interesting picture. Title "The Master Race." The featured players were all new to me except Ana Masson. It's a story of a liberated village in Belgium, occupied by American troops until the end of the European War (wish that was a reality already). See it if you haven't yet.
     No more scuttlebutt today. Just another day, quiet and peaceful. Hard to believe that men are fighting just a few hundred miles away. Something big is in the offing, but what actually happens will be told to you almost as soon as we'll know out here.
     Sweetheart, tomorrow night is New Year's Eve and we are so far apart. Do you remember how busy and festive past years were between Xmas and New Years? Believe me darling, we should count our blessings. Though I am so far away from all those I hold so dear, in my heart you are all with me. I know that in your hearts I am with you. It just must be that 1945 will see the end of all such senseless separations and that peace and love will once more be a reality throughout this battle scarred world.
     But enough of that dear. It is almost ten and lights out. You see I write at the desk in my office and all lights except in a few officers rooms (including mine) go out at ten. There is a regulation blackout here at that time.
     Goodnight my Sweet, I'm going to dream of you, our girls, and home tonight
Your impatient
Gil