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Monday, October 31, 2016

Watch Repair

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 5 April 1945, 7:15 PM
My Dearest,
     Hello Honey, I was busy all day but didn't do any dentistry to speak of. Only saw one patient.
     I've been without a watch for a week or so. This morning another officer and I got into our whale-boat and went over to a ship that was equipped to do watch repair. I knew one of the engineering officers aboard her and through him both watches will be repaired. My Bulova will be cleaned, and the service watch has broken spring to be replaced. They will both be done in a week to ten days.
     After that we stopped at a hospital ship and looked around it. Had some real ice cream and returned to our ship. That was when I worked on the patient who was waiting. It was then also that I found more mail. There were four letters from you, an Easter card from Linda, a letter from Ethyl and a V-mail from Libby.
     After lunch it was my turn to take the liberty party ashore and I didn't get back to the ship until 5:15. Then I showered and dressed for dinner. After which we enjoyed a very colorful sunset and here I am.
     I wrote Libby about some pictures Jim took of Ambie and me and some with Jim and me. She says she saw them and they are good. She'll get some black and white prints, the colored ones are "so expensive." Write her and offer to pay for them, the cheapskate.
     Now to you letters. Wish you'd get over your nerves and gas attacks. How about it? Promise me you'll settle down. I haven't heard from Diego in some time so I don't know how many have shipped out lately.
     About the Buick, the valves were ground (I think) in Diego but Sam could make some tests to determine whether they need it or not. Before you drive to Arrowhead be sure the car is in good running order.
     Anita Rose sure made her mind up in a hurry. I do hope she isn't plunging into something--war marriages you know.
     About Mrs. Ottis. Her daughter is working and is the one who agreed to pay to have the work done. I believe they have a car. Posner will know best how to handle the account.
     I remember reading time at the Steingarts and I'll take over my end the first chance I get. Until then you have to   carry on for both of us.
     No more for now Sweet. Goodnight and please snap out of your present state of nerves. For me? Please?

Loving you always,
Gil
P.S. The movie is a real oldie "Union Pacific."
Gil

WWII Service Watch












Sunday, October 30, 2016

Food Problem Acute

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Wednesday 4 April 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Here is your hard working husband again. Spent the morning and early part of the afternoon with patients. Until 4:30 I worked up the monthly mess statement. Everything is all balanced and out of the way for another month.
     Then I took the book " Burma Surgeon" went up on the poop deck and got the sun until 5:15. After a refreshing shower, I censored some mail and dressed for dinner. Following dinner I collected the mess bills from the officers and now here I am.
     Thirteen is my lucky number. That is how many pieces of mail I got today. I got seven letters from you, an Easter card from Norma and you, a letter from your mother, a card from mine and a letter from Leon and one from Ambie.
     Ambie is at the St. Albans Hospital in Long Island. He will be there for four to six weeks but actually will be home all of that time. All he has to do is put in an appearance Saturday morning for Captain's Inspection and his home is only 1 1/2 hours from there so he goes home. He says the reason he didn't say much to you was because you were talking over a phone. Suggest you write him at the hospital.
     Now your mail. They must not be too hard up for teachers if they let Mrs. Olsen go. Was she extra "lousy?" Anyway no need to worry, you could always make the grade but will never need to.
     I'm glad that Linda's throat is better and hope soon to hear that there is nothing wrong with her eyes either. Gee I wish I were home so you would have me to share your worries and other things too.
     That Arrowhead deal doesn't sound so hot. Be sure if you do take a place it is comfortable and close to the village.
     I would like "Earth and High Heaven" but I hate to see you spend the dough. As you please dear. Guess I'll get it by return mail!
     I'm well rid of my rash. The sun is the best remedy for it.
     The food problem must be acute. They've even ask us out here to cut down.
     Did you finally get to see "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay?" It is very amusing and I hope you did see it finally.
     I'm not worried about competition. I'll let Earl B join all the organizations but I'm planning to make new contacts that he can't have access to.
     It's time for the movie so I'll shove off now and finish afterwards. Don't go away!

9:45 PM
     Hello Dear, still with me? Just got back from the movie we had Deanna Durbin in "Must Keep Singing" and though she sings though the whole movie, I thought it was rather poor.
     Now back to your letters. The Navy must be pretty short on medical officers. Dr. Travis only had two months of stateside duty before he was shipped out. He is from Minnesota. We have an extra doctor aboard on temporary duty. He had one month in San Diego before he was sent out. He's married to a Venice girl by the name of Ferguson. However he practiced in Arizona and his family (wife and three kiddies) are now in Frisco. His name is Dr. Law. So you see it is possible that Jim will ship out soon. I'm glad that the dental officer problem is not so acute.
     By the way, the last time I was ashore I ran into a Dr. Love (dentist) who was in Diego the same time I was and reported aboard a carrier in September. He is an Los Angeles man.
     The photos of the kids are swell, but I'm still looking for a few snaps of you.
     Yes I remember Greenfield quite well. What is he doing now, do you know? Sorry you didn't feel so good when you went out with Marty and Ruby. We haven't had "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" but should soon.
     I'm glad my mail is coming through fast and regular. Wish the same was true at this end but it isn't. It's very sporadic as you can tell from my letters.
     Of course I mean Kosher dills. We have plenty of the others aboard.
     I'll give you the word when to close out the Diego account. As I explained in a previous letter, I've already arranged for the check to go to Santa Monica. We must be sure that the change has gone through before we do close the account in question.
     The bonds I've recommended come in $100, $500, and $1,000 denominations, so you can buy less if you think a larger purchase will run you a little short.
     That's a date for our 15th. Anyplace you say, just as long as we're together. Darling. I've already sent you a $100 money order for Linda so do it up nice for me.
     Your guess about us and the shots was correct but the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. We "ain't" going anyplace for a while yet.
     Your day at Ruth's sounds like a real nut house. However it always was so why expect any different. Your mother sure puts up with a lot, too. God only knows why.
     Course I mind if you cry awhile. Save those pretty eyes and keep them sparkling just for me. Besides crying never corrected anything, but then I'm not a woman. Maybe I'd do the same if I were. Well OK then have your little cry and then wipe your eyes and smile, please. That's better. Just the way I like it. Now don't change.
     I've rattled along enough dear so I'll sign off. Good night, Sweet I'll see you tomorrow.

Love
Gil
P.S. Forward the enclosed questionnaire, dear. It's taken a long time to reach me and may not do Ross any good but anyway send it on. Bye again Honey.
Gil


Sugar ration stamps were not used aboard ship









Saturday, October 29, 2016

Damn Hot

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 3 April 1945, 7:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     This has been one busy day. In addition to all the work I had, it has been plenty hot so I did plenty of sweating today.
     This afternoon at three o'clock when I finally cleaned up my last patient, I went to work on my monthly mess statement but after an hour's work I quit because it was too damn hot down here.
     So--instead I went up on the poop deck and got forty-five minutes of sunshine. Then I returned to my room, showered, censored some mail and dressed for dinner.
     After dinner we sat around on deck enjoying the cool evening breeze and the sunset. Now here I am.
     The mail brought me three letters today. One from you, one from Dr. Ivie (a nice friendly one) and the last was an official letter relative to new reports that I have to send in.
     Your letter was written on the 15th and I've already received one written on the 22nd so there isn't much to remark about. I see you are teaching though you hadn't done that for several weeks. Guess you're glad to get back for a spell.
     "Lost Island" sounds like an interesting book. I would enjoy reading it. Send it along.
     The movie tonight is "Irish Eyes Are Smiling" with Monty Woolley and it is rated 4.0. Guess I'll go, as if I ever stayed away.
I'm planning on answering Herman's letter next because I don't want to get behind.
     So much for now. Goodnight sweetheart, I'll see you in my dreams.

Love,
Gil

Gil's Dental Corp Insignias






Friday, October 28, 2016

1/2 Stripe

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 2 April 1945, 7:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another busy day today. I worked all morning and afternoon and wasn't through until 3:00 PM. I went to my room and censored some mail. The sun was out in all its glory so I spent from four till five on the poop deck improving on my tan. Then I returned to my room, showered, and dressed for dinner.        After chow we went back up on the poop deck and just relaxed and enjoyed the cooling evening breeze. Now here I am.
     Beginning with the May allotment, the check will go to the Santa Monica Bank of America so be sure and notify them to accept same and credit it to our account. I've increased the amount to $225 a month because I'm expecting the May ALNAV to give me that extra 1/2 stripe you've been looking for.
     I'm enclosing a money order for $100. Buy Linda a $100 bond and use the difference to buy her something more material for her birthday from her daddy.
     The mail today brought three letters from you, one from Herman Stein and one from your mother. Honey, I don't know what to say about the house except that if it needs paint and repairs why have it done. Of course I agree.
     I hope you won't get the "G's" down on you for the dress deal. You know how they like Ruth and may not like your giving her the dress. Anyway I'm too far away to know and say what to do. Use your judgment.
     You're sure making a great to do about   Linda's eyes. With all the fuss you're making it's no wonder she's all a twitter about wearing glasses. Take it easy dear and don't cross any bridges till you have to. Although Dr. Kinney is a good man, I wish you could have taken her to a Navy outpatient clinic.
     Your letter written 5:00 PM on the 22nd is not complete. The last paragraph says and "now to your letter. Didn't you see Claudia, etc" and nothing more. No signature or anything. Guess you're all excited and busy getting ready for the Mah Jong game. I also gather that you've been teaching, but there are several letters still to come to fill in the blanks.
     The movie tonight is a stinker entitled "Tahitian Nights" with I don't know who but I guess I'll go anyway.
     So much for today darling. It is almost time to go to the movies and I'm all run out of stuff and such so--
     Goodnight, I'll see you in my dreams.        Love and kisses to you and our sweet girls.

Yours always,
Gil

Stripes







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.

Love,
Gil

"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

Love,
Gil





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,
Gil

Bulova Watch from 1940s 





Friday, October 21, 2016

Toothaches

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,
Gil




Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pray!

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.

Love,
Gil

Eleanor



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Brawl

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,
Gil


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

Show

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,
Gil

Going Ashore







Sunday, October 16, 2016

Passover

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 25 March 1945, 6:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling, here I am again. Today for a change I put in an honest day's work. I saw eight patients this morning and two more this afternoon. Besides that I spent some time digging out additional information for my annual and quarterly reports. Now the Dental Corps has more control over its administration. Seeing as I am the senior dental officer aboard I have more reports to make out (ahem!). It's a good thing there aren't any more dental officers or I'd probably be junior.
     I was beginning to run low on shorts so I bought a half dozen more today (35 cents each). It has been raining or threatening to rain all day so I spent my leisure time in my room reading and censoring mail.
     There was no mail today for a change. I do wish the service would settle down so that I'd get one or two letters every day instead of all at one time. Well, I shouldn't complain, I still get more than most aboard this ship.
     It's hard to realize that next week is Passover. All days are alike and as a matter of fact I'd never know it was Sunday except the chaplain is around. Talking about chaplains, one has been assigned to our ship and I'm looking for him to arrive most any time now. Won't I be glad. Then the job of Welfare Officer and Librarian will be taken away from me and given to someone who has the time and training to do a real job of it and at the same time give me more opportunity to do what I'm here to do.
     We finally got a boxing ring built on one of the hatches. While we are waiting for the chaplain, I'll try and promote some bouts before movies.
     By the way, in one of the letters yesterday you asked if I wanted some fruits and nuts. I've still got some left and have been laying off them because I've gained a couple pounds lately. There isn't much chance for exercise but I still eat two meals a day and even that seems too much. So the answer is "no thank you."
     The movie tonight is "Fighting Lady" a picture about the carrier, "Yorktown." It is very much like the movie we saw of the flying fortress "The----Belle." I can't remember the rest of the name. We saw it in Diego together. Also it is rated as excellent.
     I'm going to sign off now. Good night, my love, my Sweet. Till tomorrow with love and kisses.
Yours alone,
Gil

Lt. (j.g.) Steingart




Saturday, October 15, 2016

Daddy is Proud

25 March 1945
Dear Linda and Norma,
     Hello my sweeties, how are you today? It has been a few days since I last wrote to you but I'm thinking about you all the time.
I'm really proud of both of you for the way you have been behaving and the way you are doing at school.
     I still don't know how much longer I'll be away but I'm hoping that I'll be home before too long.
     Just keep up the good work and daddy will be very proud of both of you.
Love and kisses to you both.

Love,
Daddy

Linda and Norma in March 1945