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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

War Casualties

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 23 April 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am again after another busy day. This probably has been the busiest day I've had since I've been aboard. Except for an hour at noon I've worked steadily from 8:30 until 4:30 P.M. In addition to my regular appointments I had six emergency patients and believe me I did hustle. I'm really not complaining because I had several surgical cases, all difficult, but interesting with good results.
     In addition to my work we've been using the dental x-ray machine for x-raying several ambulatory war casualties that came aboard today. Now the operating room is being prepared for the second appendectomy of the day. Our sick bay has been really busy.
     The mail today brought the package of booklets you sent me--you know--puzzles, games, jokes, etc. Looks like there should be several hours of amusement there. Gee thanks!       Besides that I got an American Dental Association Bulletin but no letters. Oh well, I can't complain, I've been getting my share.
     The movie tonight is Abbott and Costello in "Here Come the Co-eds" and should be be good for a laugh.
     Gee honey, I'm too tired to say any more even if there was something new or different to tell you, which there isn't. So-o-I'll sign off.
     Good night darling, till we meet again tomorrow.

Your lover,

Perhaps the x-ray machine was something like this Ritter unit from the 1930s.

Monday, November 28, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 22 April 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Today was Sunday; my day of rest. So I didn't go to work until 9:00 AM but from then on I worked. In addition to a full morning I had three emergency patients. Two of them were impacted molars. I really earned my pay today.
     After lunch I took a liberty party ashore. We returned to the ship at 4:30 and wow when I came into my room there were seven letters from you, the package with the canned fish and some literature from the Bureau of Medicine.
     So I showered and relaxed in my bunk with my mail. The letters were postmarked 11, 12, and 13 and so here goes.
     Be sure anything you send is well wrapped. The package I got today was pretty well beat up. Both of my watches are fixed now. The little Westclox is in my room. No it doesn't tick at all loudly.
     I saw both "Practically Yours" and the "Jade Mark." Don't worry about me being short. If the May ALNAV doesn't catch me the June one will. I'll have over $400 on the books May 1.
     I'm experimenting on the shell of a coconut. I think I'll have something pretty to send home one of these days.
     The war news does continue to sound good. Maybe this whole mess will be over soon.
     You have Ambie's address correct. I'm sure he'll answer you.
     Did you enjoy "Atlantic City?" I didn't.
You plan the new home. I have a hunch we'll have one a lot sooner than either of us dreams.
     It was April 13 when we got the news of Roosevelt's passing. Don't worry dear, he was a great man but I'm sure that his untimely death will not slow the coming victory. We must have faith that there are other men who can and will lead us capably.
     I've written to my mother twice in the past month. She'll probably get the letters soon, if she hasn't already.
     The movie tonight is "I Love a Mystery" with a bunch of unknowns and is rated only fair. I'll take a look-see anyway.
     No more for now darling so adios my Sweet until tomorrow.

Loving you always,

Westclox Waralarm
Was it the model Gil had?

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 21 April 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello my Sweet, how are you today? Today was an easy day for me. I saw a couple of patients this morning and then stood by for captain's inspection. After lunch I read for awhile and then joined a group of officers going ashore. Yes, again! We played volleyball from two to four and believe me in this climate one can sure raise a sweat playing in the sun for two hours. Anyway, it looks like we finally got enough men interested to play regularly and I surely welcome the exercise.
     At four we had a couple of beers and at 4:30 our boat came for us so we returned to the ship. I had just enough time to take a leisurely shower (boy was I dirty) and dress for dinner. Visited on deck for awhile and now here I am.
     The mail today brought a lone letter from Uncle Mike. However, I did "right smart well" yesterday so I can't kick. The parade of old movies still continues. Tonight we have "Song of Russia" with Robert Taylor (I think). Anyway it has lots of good music and I did enjoy it when I saw it before. So I guess I'll go and enjoy it again tonight.
     Honey, do you remember how I always was ready to go to the movies though sometimes you didn't feel like it. With this concentrated dose of movies we are getting aboard one of two things will happen. I'm either going to get fed up on movies or I'll form a habit that I'll have trouble breaking.

     However I bet we'll find other forms of entertainment for our evenings together. Don't you think so? 
     No more for now so I'll sign off. Goodnight my Sweet, I'll see you in my dreams.

Shower on the U.S.S. Ocelot

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I Run My Department

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 20 April 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey, here I am again. I had another busy morning but everything was 4.0 when the mail orderly brought me eight letters, all from you, except one which was from your mother.
     Today being "field day" I decided to go ashore for the afternoon. Just as I was getting ready to leave I got an emergency call to my office. However I extracted the tooth and made the boat in time. I spent a pleasant afternoon on the island and got back at 5:15, showered and dressed for dinner. Watched the sunset and here I am.
     Now to your letters. They were marked March 29, 31 and April 9. No comment on the late letters except that now I know about Linda's eyes and I'm tickled that there is nothing really wrong.
     Yes dear I can drink as much beer as Gilman or anybody. It's just a matter of practice. However, I'm leaving hard liquor alone because in this climate it hits me like a "ton of bricks."
     I don't think we'll have a second dentist aboard. As a matter of fact I don't want one. Chances are he would be senior to me and I'd do most of the work. As it is now, I run my department as I please and don't really have any boss. That's the way I like it so I'll leave it well enough alone.
     "As Thousands Cheer" was an oldie which we evidently missed. The "live" entertainers were all right but nothing exciting.
     Now I know what happened to the tire, too. However, don't worry about it. It's just one of those things. You really ought to have the clutch fixed pronto. If it does give out it'll just be an additional expense.
     I re-lived all your recollections on the road to Arrowhead. Someday, sooner than you think we will re-explore that country together (I hope).
     This is no advice I can get for you so many miles away. By all means, if you feel you need to, see Dr. Lewis and find out what he has to say.
     Now quit holding out. Send those snaps of yourself along with the kids. I had some more taken on the island the other day though they aren't too hot, I'll send them as soon as I can.
     I'm glad you enjoyed "Roughly Speaking." I got a big band out of it too.
     We've been seeing most of the movies that you have. The only one we haven't had yet is "National Velvet" and we'll probably get that soon. Until we get a new shipment I guess we'll have to put up with old ones. Tonight we have "Random Harvest." with Ronald Coleman and Greer Garson. Guess I'll go anyway.
     Today I heard of two more dental officers out here who got their orders at fifteen months. If we don't get back sooner when I've had twelve months I intend to write requesting Long Beach for my next tour of duty.
     Nothing more new or different so I'll sign off. Goodnight my Sweet and pleasant dreams.

Loving you always,

Drinking Beer
Engineering Officer and Gil

Friday, November 25, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 19 April 1945, 7:25 PM
Dearest Sweetheart,
     Hello Darling, how are you today, busy? This being our big girl's birthday, I bet you've been rushing around all day.
     I too have been busy. I worked in my office all morning and part of the afternoon. I spent the remainder of the afternoon working on that coconut paperweight I've talked about making. It is all finished except for a coat of clear varnish that I'll put on tomorrow. It'll really look nice.
     After I left my office I went up on the poop deck with a book and got the sun for an hour. I'm reading a historical novel entitled "Look Away, Look Away" but I'll have to refer back to the book for the name of the author. It is about a migration of southern aristocrats to Brazil immediately after the Civil War and is based on fact. I believe you'd find it interesting; try to get hold of it.
     Today, I got one letter, dated the 10th, from my favorite girl friend. So you are back at John Adams Junior High. You seem to like it there and your present assignment is a cinch.
     What about Linda's eyes? I never did get a letter telling me what the doctor said. Now you mention going back. Repeat the "dope" in a couple of letters so I'll be sure to hear even if one gets lost in the shuffle.
     We have another repeat movie tonight, "Janie." I hope we get some new ones soon. All we've been seeing lately are repeat showings.
     No more for now, so I'll sign off with love and kisses to all my loved ones.
Yours always,

The Book

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

Piece of Cake

19 April 1945
Dear Linda,
     Happy Birthday honey, how is my big six year old daughter today?
     I'm sorry I couldn't be with you today but I promise you that I'll never miss another one of your birthdays. As a matter of fact, next year you'll have a special birthday so I can make up for the one I'm missing today.
     I'm very pleased and proud to hear that you are doing well at school and being a good girl at home. Keep up the good work.
     Goodbye for now and eat an extra piece of cake for me.


Photo of Linda 
18 April 1945

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Chin Up

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 18 April 1945, 6:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am once more. I had the whole morning reserved for some men from another ship but they never showed up. So--I read for a while, sent off a couple more letters and called in two patients who were awaiting appointments.
     After lunch I saw two more patients and then twelve of us went ashore. We played three games of volleyball, drank a few beers and after I went to the trouble of husking and shelling the nut, we ate some coconut meat. Got back at 5:15 just in time to shower and dress for dinner. After dinner we talked on deck for awhile and now here I am.
     The only mail today was a note from Ethyl. I really didn't expect much after yesterday's seven letters.
     The movie last night was the "Lost Horizon" revived, but still very good. Tonight we have another oldie, Noel Coward in "In Which We Serve."
     Nothing new or different to talk about just the same old rumors. Most of the dental officers in this area are being relieved after fifteen months and some have gone back as early as eleven months after shipping out. So you see dear, even if our ship doesn't return to the states soon, I still have a good chance of being home in the fall.
     That is all for tonight darling, keep the chin up and the smile on your face. Until tomorrow.

Your lover,

Beer and Coconut

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 17 April 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling here is your hard working husband again. I worked all morning and afternoon and didn't secure until four o'clock.
     Then I went to my room, undressed, showered and censored some mail. After that I read for awhile and then it was time to dress and go eat.
     After dinner we visited around on deck and now here I am.
     Got seven letters today, four from you, one each from Libby, Ruth, and Mary Regan. This Regan gal sure has her eye out for Leon but with a face like hers I'm afraid she won't get very far.
     Libby's home does sound nice but you have no cause to be jealous. We've always had more than they did and when I get back and into the groove, you'll have all the things you want again. "We did it before and we can do it again!" As far as gifts go, you've got the idea at last. Anything will be OK.
     Sorry your summer plans aren't panning out. Yet I think it is for the best. Just a hunch plus some scuttlebutt but I do hope for the states this fall. Maybe we'll be lucky for a change.
     Glad you're teaching. Time goes so much faster when one is busy. Believe me I know though I haven't said much about it.
     Did Wallie get a medical discharge or what? I suppose he paid cash at Marbros but you should check. He might have used you as a reference for all you know.
     That's what I like about you. Always planning for the future, 1950-1960. What have you on tap from 1945-1950 eh?
     If you like Nina's company, encourage her to visit you in June. I doubt very much that she'll be in "our" way. If I do show up, we'll just disappear, OK?
     My goodness such pride. Don't be so proud Dear. Encourage invites instead of turning them down. I wouldn't feel too badly about the few friends you have. In talking with the married officers I find that their wives have all had similar experiences since their husbands shipped out.
     Be sure to attend the Officers' Wives Club. You'll probably meet several women you know and don't forget you all have a common bond and misery loves company.
     Well Sweets, I'm all "writ out."

     Tonight's movie by the way is "The Lost Horizon of Shangri-La." I can't find out if this is the old "Lost Horizon" or a new feature. Anyway I'll see it and find out.
     Good night Sweetheart until tomorrow.

Loving you always,

Gil's wife Eleanor

Friday, November 18, 2016

FDR's Death

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 16 April 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Today begins a new week but it probably won't be different than those that have passed. I was busy all morning as usual. Had lunch and after that took a recreation party ashore for the afternoon. We got back at 5:00 PM. I showered, dressed for dinner and so went another day. After eating we stood around anticipating a colorful sunset when a rain squall came along and drove us under cover.
     The movie tonight is a revival of "In Old Chicago." It was first shown in 1938 so I guess it'll be just like seeing a new picture. I enjoyed last night's "Greenwich Village," I hadn't seen it before.

     How did FDR's passing away affect folks at home? We got the news at breakfast the morning of the 13th and there were plenty of questions in most of our minds as to who would replace him at the peace tables after the final victory. All ships' ensigns are at half mast and will remain so for thirty days. Yesterday (Sunday) special memorial services were held on all ships where a chaplain was available and at sunset we all observed five minutes of silence. However, the war goes on just the same and I doubt that victory will be delayed any. It's just the "peace" that many of us are concerned about.
     No mail for me today so I'm practically speechless.
No more for now darling, so I guess I'll sign off. Goodnight and pleasant dreams (of me of course).
Yours always,

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Filled 13 Teeth, Extracted 1, Treated 2 Gum Infections

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 15 April 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey. Even though it was Sunday I had a whole slew of appointments and by noon I had filled thirteen teeth, extracted one and treated two gum infection cases.
     After lunch I went up on the poop deck and got forty-five minutes of sunshine. Then I went to my room undressed, censored mail and read until 4:30 P.M. Almost like a Sunday afternoon at home except that my three sweethearts weren't with me.
     After showering, I dressed for dinner and enjoyed a delicious turkey feast with all the trimmings. Honestly dieting is a real problem but the only thing fattening that I've eaten all day was one scoop of ice cream.
     The mail today brought a letter from Bob Jaffe and a card from my mother.
     The movie tonight was shown aboard at Pearl but I don't remember it. It is "Greenwich Village" with Don Ameche and Carmen Miranda. It supposed to be good. I'll be there with bells on.
     I wrote some more letters last night--to Leon, Dave, Ethyl, and Mrs. Mumma. I'm having a little difficulty keeping up now that I have a few others besides my own special correspondent. I'll probably write some more tonight.
     There is still no news worth talking about. Of course the war is moving right along and it's hard to understand what Germany can possibly gain by continuing to fight, but they are doing that. Okinawa may well be a decisive campaign in the Pacific theater. By the time the Japs are liquidated there, the Nips will have lost practically all of her fleet and power of production for waging war in Japan proper (listen to "Mr. Kaltenborn!" Tsk, tsk).
     No more for now darling so I'll sign off with love and kisses to you and our darlings.
Yours alone,

U.S.S. Ocelot

Monday, November 14, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 14 April 1945, 6:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey, how are you tonight? I worked all morning as usual and this afternoon until 2:30. I got off some letters to Ethyl, Dave and Leon. Then I sat around and visited with several other officers and before I knew it was 5:30. So, I showered and dressed for dinner.
     One of the officers aboard is going back to the states for medical reasons and so tonight dinner will be in the form of a farewell party and we won't sit down until 6:45. That's why I'm writing now.
     I only got one letter today. It was from Ruth and Ernie. As usual I got a few chuckles out of it.
     The movie tonight is "The Great Flamarion" with Eric Von Stroheim. A murder movie. Last night's "Pan Americana" was very entertaining. See it and get a few laughs out of it.
     Nothing new, nothing different out here. It's been raining on and off all afternoon and am I glad. It's gotten much hotter in the past few weeks and the rain does cool things down a bit.
     Talking about diets, I am going on one myself beginning tomorrow. I don't eat spuds, bread or butter now but I'll have to add desserts to my list of taboos. I'm around 175 and I'll try to trim down to 165.
     That's all for now Sweet. Good night and take it easy.

Loving you always,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Field Day

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 13 April 1945, 6:45 PM
My Darling,
     Hello Honey, here is your old drunken husband again. Began the day with work as I always do. This being Friday, I had the afternoon open so Alexander could hold "field day." He did a lot of scrubbing. Everything looks nice and clean.
     After lunch I begged a boat and six of us went ashore for a wee bit of recreation. We had a camera along and if we were sober enough there should be some good snaps. We got back at 5:45 just in time for dinner and after eating--why here I am.
     I got both of my watches back today. One was cleaned; the other had a new mainspring put in. Both repairs cost me $7.70. Not bad, eh?
     Much to my surprise I got five letters today. Look dear, you must snap out of it. Hearing that you are lonesome and unhappy makes me feel twice as bad. How's about it? Let's get busy and keep busy, huh? OK. It's a deal.
     Send me a list of arrears accounts, addresses and date of last payment. I'll drop each of them a note. Maybe I can bring in the balance due.
     I'll look for those maps. Those in the atlas I have are too small and not detailed enough.
     So you don't like teaching at Lincoln Junior High. The kids must be "bitches." My, my, such language!
     I'll try to get a pen for you if there are any left. I really am enjoying mine.
     Your ice cream diet is interesting, but I'll leave it alone. Guess I'll eat and grow fat until I find some means of exercising.
     You are going through lots of money but with your added income we should be breaking even (I hope). Anyway, what's money?
     Tonight's movie is "Pan Americana," with I don't know who. It's a new picture so I can't tell much about it until after I've seen it.
     I wrote Marty earlier in the day. So much for now. Good night, Sweet. I'll see you in my dreams.

Loving you always,

Was this photo of Gil taken that day?

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 12 April 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling, here is that guy again. Today was another one of those days. Plugged away all morning and spent most of the afternoon on my records and reports. I've got them practically all squared away so I'll be able to take it easy for awhile now.
     I left my office at 3:15 and went up to the wardroom for a "coke." Then I had my hair cut. By then it was (just ran out of ink) 4:00 PM so I went up on the "poop" for some sun. It has been much warmer the past few weeks and even at this late hour the sun was blistering hot. Anyway I stayed up there for forty-five minutes, and then went down and showered. After that I censored some mail and dressed for dinner.
     After the batch of yesterday, I got one more letter than I expected today. Yes, I got one from you. It is an old one so my comments would just be a rehash.
     I do like the way the typewriter writes now. It is much easier to read. Wish I could type. My letters must be pretty difficult to decipher at times.
     We have a double feature movie tonight. They are both lousy pictures. Guess I'll go anyway. They are "Thoroughbred" and "Under Western Skies." Last night's movie was one of the best we've had aboard. "Roughly Speaking" with Rosalind Russell. Be sure to see it.
     Well Sweets, nothing more for tonight. Goodnight and I do love you.

Yours now and forever,

Eleanor had an Underwood typewriter similar to this one

Friday, November 11, 2016


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday, 11 April 1945, 7:15 PM
My Dearest,
     How are you today Sweet? I'm just the same. Fat, sassy, and working all the time. Had my usual busy morning but was through by 11:15. Then I received nine letters, seven from you, one from Marty and one from your mother. It was lunch time before I was through reading them.
     Gee the snaps are swell. When you send me some more art corners I'll be able to place them in my album.
     This afternoon was spent on my paper work and it was 4:30 before I was through. I still have several afternoons of book work before my records and reports will be all up to date.
     Now back to my mail. So many questions. Alexander types my courses for me. He is my corpsman. No don't send the snaps back. I don't have the negatives so I wouldn't want to lose them. Besides I'll always be able to fill in the names for you at a later date.
     It's funny but you and I are both thinking the same about my office down to the shells, fish and furnishings. I have quite an assortment of shells and I'm adding to my collection all the time.
     Thanks for telling me all about Easter. I enjoyed every word of it though it did make me feel a little homesick to think of what I'm missing. Sounds like a lot of changes in Santa Monica. Suppose they're all making money too fast to spend it.
     Leon wrote and told me about the move to Treasure Isle. I must answer in a day or two.
     Sounds like you're going through a pile of dough. Take it easy gal. The fur coat can wait until fall now that winter is over. $700 worth of fixing on the house sounds like a hell of a lot of dough. However as usual I'll close by saying use your own judgment.
     Didn't we see the Dunham Dancers once? They sure sound familiar.
     No, the Dental Corps is not separate from the Medical Corps. It's just that we do our own administrative work rather than have the Medical Corps handle it. Just a lot of extra work with no more independence than before.
     I didn't get any clipping about the new dental clinic. Dr. Webster applied to the Navy when I did, but didn't pass physically. He is a pretty nice guy and used to be a school dentist.
     The car is certainly costing now, but then again you haven't had to spend much on it since I shipped out.
     Sorry the Arrowhead deal fell through. Maybe you'll have a much pleasanter holiday in the late summer or early fall. Keep your fingers crossed.
     There is no use my talking to the doctor here. See Lewis if you're not feeling well. However you did consult a doctor at the hospital in Diego didn't you? However if anything is bothering you you'd be better off getting some professional advice. Go ahead and see him. You don't need my permission.
     This morning I began to shave and my shaver broke. Well I got some screw drivers, took the damn thing apart, soldered a broken spring and it's as good as new. I could use a new head for my Schick. Get one from Marty and send it on.
     The movie tonight is Rosalind Russell in "Roughly Speaking" and is rated very good.
I must dash now as it's almost that time. Good night Honey, I'll see you in my dreams.

Love and kisses,


Lots of snaps


Eleanor (head cut off)


Eleanor and Deb