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Friday, October 14, 2016

Alaskan Highway

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 24 March 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day of loafing, but the last. The paint wasn't quite dry this morning, so I didn't open shop today. However tomorrow I have a pretty heavy day lined up.
     What did I do all day? First I censored some mail. Then I did examine a couple of officers who were up for promotion. By the time the inspection party came through sickbay it was past 11:00 AM so I went up to my room and read until chow.
     After lunch I killed more time but don't ask me what I did because I'm darned if I can remember. It has been cloudy and raining all day else I would have gone ashore. I just didn't feel like getting all wet.
     I got five letters from my darling today, two in the AM and three in the PM.
     The one marked February 20th explained about Hansen's phone call to you. No, he hasn't written yet. The others were marked the 13th, 14th and 15th of March and that isn't bad service at all. Maybe he did call Miss Rike a "young lady" but I'm not kidding when I say she'll never see forty-five again. Maybe you'll meet her some day and you'll judge as to whom is "kidding" you.
     That article about the Alaskan Highway didn't surprise me as I read about it in the ship's news Bulletin some time ago. All work on the road has ceased. It seems they ran into insurmountable difficulties. Oh well, there are still ships sailing and that'll give us more time to ourselves (catch on?)
     The things I find most interesting in your letters are the things that you and the kids are doing. I really don't care much about what is happening to others, hence no remarks in the past (and in the future too). Of course I read your letters through and reread them when I'm writing you. I answer all your ideas that I think are necessary.
     I'm glad you got rid of those moles. Why are you so worried about being beautiful? You always did suit me fine and I'll take you just as you are.
     Yes the Army is advancing officers faster than the Navy now. I still prefer the Navy. Still think back to how long Iz Weiss was a First Lieutenant. At least in the Navy after sixteen months (May 1) I'll get my advancement and that is only about a month from now.
     Your list of real friends is small but I do believe that no one has many more. The rest are "fair weather" friends who don't really give a tinker's damn.
     Of course we'll be together when I get stateside duty, no matter where. That is a promise.
     We saw "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" years ago. "Virginia" is also an oldie which we saw together.
     It looks like Joe will ship out soon and when he does I do hope Anne comes back to Santa Monica. I know how much you must miss her.
     The Mrs. Allen of the P.T.A. you mention sounds like the wife of Mark Allen, the attorney in the Tower building. Next time you see her ask her if she is and if so say hello for me. I know her fairly well.
Sorry that you and the kids all have colds.        Hope you are all well when you read this.
     Painting the house sounds like a good idea if you can get help to do it reasonably.
Well sweet that washes me up for tonight. The movie is "Strange Affair" with (?)--I never heard of them anyway and it's time to go.
     Goodnight Sweet, I'll see you in my dreams.

Love,
Gil


Newspaper article published on March 24, 1945. Tells of the March 13 Japanese raid in Ulithi that damaged the aircraft carrier Randolph. A kamikaze, not mentioned in the article, buzzed the U.S.S.Ocelot.