Friday, December 30, 2016

Shoved Off

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 11 May 1945, 9:50 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello my Darling, how's about a great big kiss. OK then that's another one you owe me. When I do get home, that thirty day leave will hardly be enough to collect all you owe me and pay back all I owe you. Anyway it'll be fun trying.
     As usual there was plenty to do all morning. This being field day, six of us shoved off for the island. The tide was way out and ideal for hunting shells. I found nine beauties. That doesn't sound like much but I have quite a shell collection now.
     We returned at 5:15 in time to shower and change before dinner. After dinner the same three of us joined the skipper for a game of cribbage. We knocked off at 7:30 to go to the movies. We had "Fog Island" a murder story, but I don't recommend it to you.
     Following the movie I took the shells and removed the muscle from the inside. You see, they are alive and stink to high heaven if they aren't cleaned out. Now they're in formaldehyde and will stay there until tomorrow night.
     There was no mail this morning. But I was surprised to find a letter marked April 21 and an American Dental Association Journal in my office. Nothing to comment on in your letter. Everything has been covered already.
     You do ask where I want to go and what I want to do when I get back. Well how does bed sound. You guess what I want to do and I don't mean sleep. I really can't think of anything else, but we'll have to come up for air sooner or later even if it's later. Anything you suggest will be okay with me. Yes, even back to bed.
     Let's get out of the bedroom now dear, it isn't doing either of us any good at the moment. Last night and the night before I wrote seven letters besides yours and now I'm all caught up. Bet I get a new batch tomorrow and I'll have more to write. I'd complain if I didn't get mail, so I'd better keep quiet when I do.
     I'm mentioning this again because it is important. Don't close the San Diego account until I give you the word. It takes time to make a change and this month's check will still go to San Diego.
     No more for now Sweet so I'll sign off. Keep everything on ice until I get back. I'll warm things up for you. Good night.
Your lover,

The Island

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Frozen Food

 Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 10 May 1945, 8:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am again. Had a nice day for a change. Saw several patients this morning and then had my mess statement audited.
     After lunch I had several appointments and spent an hour working on a gadget I'm making. Then I took a magazine and got forty-five minutes of sun on the poop deck. Although it was late afternoon the sun was plenty hot.
     Then I returned to my room, censored some mail, showered and dressed for dinner. After chow three of us joined the captain for another game of cribbage. Now here I am.
     All the mail brought today was the U.S. News Navy Report, the Service Edition of the Outlook and American Dental Association Bulletin and the postcard you sent from Los Angeles when you were with Yetta.
     Now that the European war is over even bigger things should develop out this way and soon the whole thing will be over. I'm really optimistic about Japan throwing in the sponge.
     For the time being there's nothing new out here. It's still hot and sticky and rain is a welcome change.
     The last few days we had several treats in the way of fresh food. We got hold of some fresh frozen peaches, apricots, peas, string beans and cauliflower. Believe me, they sure tasted good after months of canned food.
     No more for now darling so I'll sign off. Good night Dear, I'll see you in my dreams.

Loving you always,

Negative of U.S.S. Ocelot

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cribbage With Captain

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 9 May 1945, 10:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     This hasn't been too busy a day, but it has been a full day. I worked on patients all morning and for an hour this afternoon. Then I let the doctor talk me into going ashore; or did I sell him a bill of goods? Well anyway we went ashore.
     We found a table under some trees and sat, talked and drank beer all afternoon. At 5:00 P.M. our boat picked us up and we returned to the ship. After a nice cold shower, I dressed and then it was time for dinner.
     After chow Cox (my roommate), another officer and I joined the captain in a game of cribbage. We (Cox and I) won all five games (with a little luck). Then it was 7:30 PM so we broke it up and went out to see the movies.
     The movie tonight was "Frisco Sal" with Susannah Foster and though she does some good singing I can't say much for the movie--just fair.
     The mail brought me seven letters today. There were five from you, another from Libby and one from the Regan gal. Now here goes.
     I hope you haven't closed our San Diego account yet. I told you not to until I gave you the word. There will still be a check going there this month. It takes time for a change to clear all the red tape.
     Bet Leon ships out soon after this present leave is up. That is usually the way it works.
     You might as well give away my German books. I don't suppose they'll ever be used again. At least not until our girls grow up and go to college and by then we should be able to afford some new ones.
     Yes I know about your earrings but I doubt that I'll locate anything like that until I head home again. Anyway, I'll keep my eyes open. Maybe I'll make you something you'll like better. It's a surprise and practically finished. Something for you, Norma, and Linda.
     I don't know how much Phenobarbital you are taking but it is habit forming and I'd be careful about taking anything like that regularly.
     You've really had a busy week with the Rosen party, dinner with Ruth, Cappy and Frieda, the Mah Jong game, etc. Also your letters have a tone of cheer that I'm very happy to see. When you get down in the dumps, you'll never know how much your letters worry me.
     That's about all there is this time Sweet, so I'll sign off. Good night Darling and may all your dreams come true and soon.

Loving you as always

Drinking beer on Mog Mog Recreation Island, Ulithi

Friday, December 23, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

German Surrender

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday May 8, 1945, 10:25 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hooray, Germany has surrendered unconditionally. Still, they are fighting and many lives will yet be lost before the final curtain is dropped on the European stage. Out this way the war is developing nicely for the United States. I'm predicting that Japan will throw in the sponge before many months.
     In spite of the thrilling news from Europe, work goes on as usual out here. I had just another busy day. I worked all morning and part of the afternoon as well.
     I bought a Sheaffer Lifetime pen for you today. It's a ten dollar pen for six dollars. I hope you like it. Will send it on with some other stuff in a few days.
     Had a hair cut this afternoon and then after showered, and relaxed in my rack with a bunch of magazines--Lifes, Liberties, etc.
     The mail today brought a lone letter from Libby, an Esquire and a National Jewish Monthly. Guess I'll have to wait another day for mail from my favorite wife.
     We had a swell-elegant movie tonight "Bring on the Girls" with Eddie Bracken, Veronica Lake and lots of girls. It is really excellent be sure to see it when you get a chance.
     Nothing more to tell you. No new scuttlebutt or nothin! So--guess I'll sign off.
     Goodnight my love, sweet dreams. Thinking about you always.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Pour Down

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 7 May 1945, 7:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     A real easy day for a change. I had patients all morning but I was able to take my time and not have to work fast. After lunch I took a liberty party ashore and returned to the ship at 4:45. As usual on our way back we got caught in a pour down and by the time I got aboard I was drenched to the skin. However, a nice shower and change of clothes and I was ready for dinner. After eating we sat up on the poop deck getting the cool evening breeze and after "colors" I came down for our little daily chat.
     The mail brought me four letters from you, one from Ethyl and a return on the sixth lesson of my course. My grade was 3.96. Your letters are postmarked the 25th and 27th. I'm missing some days so I guess there'll be more tomorrow. Now here goes.
     Looks like you got only got one day of teaching that week but sounds like you enjoyed it. Your letter made me much happier because you morale is up for a change and your outlook a little brighter. Try and stay that way for me.
     Just as I thought, you should have gone to the Sipper's. Everyone isn't as formal and you are and I'm sure they expected you.
     The Mothers' Day gifts should arrive on time and I hope you like them. Besides all told, they set me back $19, so I know you'll like them.
     I can hardly wait for the photos of Linda. Looks like both kids are doing okay on bonds but just the same I'll send birthday bond money for Norma.
     So Marty and Manny had a spat. Boy oh boy, local politics are sure getting hot. They were such good friends too. You guessed it; the whole thing worries me--not.
     I know all about where to write and what to ask for. The only thing is that there are only a few dentists at the hospital but many medics. Anyway we'll try. Cyril Gail is there now. I read that in a Dental Bulletin I got.
     Tonight's movie is "National Velvet" and I must go now and get a good seat. Goodnight Sweet and pleasant dreams.

Liberty party going ashore

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Poker and Beer

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 6 May 1945, 10:15 PM
My Dearest,
     Today was Sunday, but except for church services aboard it was just another day of work. Oh yes, I begin work at 9:00 instead of 8:30 on Sundays, that is if nothing comes up---and it usually does in the shape of unappointed patients. Anyway I worked all morning until 11:45.
     After lunch I finished my wardroom treasurer's statement and then decided to go ashore. Had three or four cans of beer and returned to the ship at 5:15. Following my shower and dinner I sat in on a poker game until 7:45 and lost all of 95 cents.
     The movie tonight wasn't too good but had lots of laughs. It was "She Gets Her Man" with Joan Davis. After the movie I went up to the wardroom, read the morning news, had an orange and here I am.
     No mail today but tomorrow is another day. By the way Sweet one of these days you may not get mail for a spell. Don't worry; the first thing you know you'll get a whole stack.
     Looks like the European war is really washed up and soon everything will be coming out this way. With all the power we've shown and the mess the allies have made of Germany, I feel there is a good chance of a quick surrender by the Japs. Anyway that's what they should do if they know what is good for them.
     Well darling, I'm all washed up for tonight and will hit my rack as soon as I sign off. Goodnight, Sweets, I'll see you in my dreams.


United States Navy Cards

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Fillings, Extractions, Abscesses, Trench Mouth, Pyorrhea

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 5 May 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweetheart, how's about a kiss. Gee thanks, I haven't had one in a long time and I'm really getting out of practice.
     Today was the usual busy day. Before I was through I had placed nineteen fillings, did two extractions, lanced an abscess, treated a case of trench mouth and one of pyorrhea.
     The new ALNAV came out and promotions are in order for men through January 1, 1944. As I reported January 17 I'll have to wait for next month's which should go through to Feb 1.
     The mail brought me a lone letter from Libby. She tells me she got the negatives and was sending them to you. By the way can you get any 35mm Kodachrome film? I could get some prize shots if the film were available. Ask Dave, maybe he can help you locate some.
     Last night was the coolest night we've had in weeks. I woke during the night and had to pull up the sheet. However the rain came and went and it's been as hot as ever today.
     We have another repeat movie tonight, "To Have and To Have Not." but I'd rather see a good one again as some of the tripe we've been getting. Last night's "Night Club Girl" was another stinker. I suppose seeing movies nightly, we should expect good and bad ones alike.
     No new scuttlebutt dear. Still the same old stuff but nothing to go on as to when I'll return. I know it is hard on you but believe me, though I haven't complained and won't now, this is no picnic out here either. Of course I'm safe but seeing the same faces of several hundred men daily and living in the confines of an area under 500 feet long and 40 feet wide does have its drawbacks. It is really surprising how little friction exists and how well we all get along with one another.
     Germany is practically out now. One minute we hear over the radio of an unconditional surrender and next we hear of more fighting going on someplace else. Anyway a lot more of our power will be moving to the Pacific Theater and maybe Japan will see the light and surrender before her country is also reduced to rubble. It's very possible, even probable that the whole thing may blow up unexpectedly.
     No more for now Darling. Now you have put up with me being away for nine months and a week. I should be coming home within the next few months. Good night Sweet and pleasant dreams.


U.S.S. Ocelot
500 feet long 40 feet wide

Friday, December 16, 2016

Couldn't Ask for Better Duty

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 4 May 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Today was just another one of those days. I was busy as a bee all morning and was surely glad when 11:45 rolled around. This being "field day" I secured for the day and after lunch joined a group of officers going ashore for some recreation and beer--mostly beer.
     Our boat picked us up and got us back to the ship at 5:15 PM in time to shower and change for dinner. Then it began to rain and though I don't know right now I hope it still is coming down. I decided to come down to my office early and write you an extra long letter. Low and behold I found six letters from you and one each from Deb and your mother. Now I really have something to write about and here goes.
     Linda's birthday party sounds like it was a real success, and she really bagged a lot of nice gifts. Wish I could have be there to help and to enjoy the party with you.
     So you're teaching once more. I'm glad you like your assignment. Doing something one likes is so much easier.
     Talking about bonds, I'll send a $100 money order for Norma's birthday just as I did for Linda. Buy her a bond and use the $25 any way you like. Don't worry about me being short. I'll get by.
     Sorry the Officers Wives' Club was so uninteresting. I had hoped you'd make some new acquaintances.
     I don't know why you hesitate eating an occasional meal at the Corsos. They don't worry about sponging on you or your good nature, so kill an evening once in awhile that way. By the way take any good stuff out of the cellarette. No use letting those buzzards guzzle it all up. Send me Sam Kahn's address. I'd like to drop him a note.
     I sent Leon a note to Treasure Island. I hope he gets it. Sounds like he doesn't like San Bruno at all but he'll like where he is going even less. I'd trade with him anytime. Really for duty outside the continental limits one couldn't ask for better than I have.
     Now the blarney about Dick going up for Officer Candidate School. Without a college education he hasn't got a chance but let them find out for themselves. Don't tell them.
     You never kept very good track of my weight.I can see that.  Before I went on a diet I was close to 185 pounds and cut down to 182. When I reported for active duty I was 170 and that is where I am now.
     No we never saw "Greenwich Village" but it is a good movie.
     Curry's letter was a surprise. Not because she is infanticipating but because he is going into the Armed Forces. After all he was working in defense and married. Guess they're still nabbing plenty of unsuspecting papas.
     Considering the amount of beer I drank today I really have written a fairly sensible letter.
     Tonight's movie is "Night Club Girl" with a lot of unknowns, but I'll go anyway.
     So Sweetheart again I come to an end all out of breath. Wish I was winded for other reasons. I can hardly wait till that time when we can turn out the light and go to "sleep." I never saw people sleep like that before.
     Until that time keep those panties on and your hopes up. Love and kisses to all my girls at 714 Euclid.

Yours forever,

Gil did not weigh 170 lbs. when he reported for active duty.  His weight was 162 lbs. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Surgery Technique

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 3 May 1945, 7 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey, here is that man again. I had another very busy day but I wasn't pushed for time and so I'm not tired. You'd be surprised how much new oral surgery technique I've learned and other operative procedures as well. There is one surgical procedure in particular that I never attempted in civilian life. The first time I did in the Navy it took me an hour and I really "botched" job. Now I can do the same thing in fifteen to twenty minutes and am getting beautiful results. This is one time when my serving in the Navy isn't a liability.
     Today has been another of those, hot, tropical, breezeless days. It's a good thing I'm busy because then I don't notice it at all. This evening the sun set in a real blaze of glory. I have never seen such vivid colored skies before, not even in movies or painting. It is just past description.
     Even though the Andrews Sisters were excellent, last night's movie, "Her Lucky Night" was another stinkeroo. Tonight we have an oldie but a good one, "Cover Girl" with Ann Sheridan or is it Rita Hayworth?
     The mail brought me a lone letter from Miss Davis except now she is a Mrs. Her boyfriend, a Marine, finally came back and they got married. I wrote her when I first shipped out and she just answered. What a honeymoon! Anyway her hubby is stationed in El Centro and naturally she is with him.
     No more gossip or news for tonight. By the time you get this letter Germany should have surrendered and then we can really go to work on the Japs. I frankly don't think they'll last a year.
     Goodnight my Sweet. Keep that chin up and a smile on your face. I do love you and miss you. Why talk about it and make you and me feel bad. Pleasant dreams.

Your lover,

Lt. (j.g.) Steingart dentist aboard the U.S.S. Ocelot

Monday, December 12, 2016

Decks Hot Enough to Fry Eggs

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 2 May 1945, 7:25 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling, here I am again. Had a nice easy morning and was through at 11:00 AM. After lunch, however, they really had me hopping and it was 4:00 PM before I finally secured.
     These last few weeks have really been hot ones and I'm surprised that the heat doesn't bother me much. You know how lazy and listless I'd get whenever it got hot at home. Our decks were hot enough to fry eggs on today. But who stays on deck when one can find a shady spot with a couple of fans blowing? Dear, try to get hold of a March 31 issue of Collier's and save it for me. There is some stuff in the Iwo Jima article that I'll want. Don't strain yourself; there is nothing there for you to puzzle out.
     Last night's Laurel and Hardy picture was the poorest movie we've had to date. Tonight we have one that probably isn't much better. It is "Her Lucky Night" with the Andrews Sisters and Martha O'Driscoll. Hope I'm wrong and it turns out to be good.
     There was no mail today so I guess I'll get a few extras tomorrow. No news to tell but I hope the rumor that Hitler has been executed is true.
     So long for now Sweet and I'll see you in my dreams tonight. Goodnight and pleasant dreams.
Yours alone,

Officers on the deck of the U.S.S. Ocelot
Gil is the short one

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Art Corners

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 1 May 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am again. Today was another easy day. Being the first of the month I worked on some reports this morning and saw a few patients. Not having much to do, five of us officers went ashore after lunch.
     It began to rain while we were still in the boat going over. Even though there was some cover we still stayed out and got wet. It felt so nice being able to cool off a bit. We brought along some snacks to eat with the beer. I brought a can of gefilte fish and that eggplant appetizer. The others brought three cans of sardines and a jar of cheese. The snacks and crackers went very well with the beer. Although the gefilte fish tastes okay, no one would eat it, but they all went for the appetizer.
     After we put away all the eats we went shell hunting. The tide was way out and I brought back a mess of shells. My collection is growing. I have many different and interesting specimens.
     The mail today consisted of three letters from my one and only. So here goes. Don't worry too much about the center meetings. They are probably more interested in getting paying attendees. When we are back together again they'll be after us just as always, but we'll be a lot more selective than we were. We've learned things about some people we'd never believe otherwise. We'll act accordingly.
     Your description of the party was so good I was all but there. How happy I would be if only I could hug and kiss my three girls. Well it can't be very long until I'll be doing it no dreaming about it (and other things too).
     By the way 1-1/2 units of over-sightedness for a youngster Linda's age is nothing to worry about. They usually grow out of it.
     Did I say I got some maps? Either I was too tight or else you read my letter wrong. I haven't received any maps recently. I did get the art corners and have all the pictures placed in my album. Still no sign of the Xmas packages due from you and Manny. Guess they're lost.
     Don't worry about money after the war. We are in for a ten year boom after a temporary lull. I'll get in on practically all of it.
     Honey, the way things look Xmas is the latest I'd come home even if all the breaks are against me. I'm really expecting some good ones real soon.
     I can understand the food shortage alright. Feeding practically all of Europe and the number of men out here plus a sufficient reserve to meet any contingency must take a tremendous stockpile. And the Armed Forces are really well fed. All we get is steak, turkey, chicken, roast beef and selected cuts of pork and veal. Butter is plentiful as are oranges and apples. We do miss tomatoes, lettuce and fresh milk. We do get celery once in awhile. Eggs are abundant. Yes dear I can see why there is a food shortage in the states.
     The move tonight is Laurel and Hardy in "Nothing But Trouble." I hope it's at least fair. Outside of that there is nothing to tell.
     Goodnight darling, with loads of love and kisses.

Yours as ever,

Art Corners

Saturday, December 10, 2016

My Skivvies

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 30 April 1945, 7:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling, here he is again, ever faithful, ever true. That's me. Another easy day today so I had some time to work on the wardroom treasurer's books. Maybe this month I'll balance out without any trouble.
     Have I mentioned that out here the weather is getting hotter all the time? Well it has and today was the hottest of them all. Thank God I have a cool room. That's where I go every time I have some free moments. I strip down to my skivvies (shorts), turn the fan on me and read. We've gotten so many magazines of late that it'll be a month before I get them all read. We got another shipment of books and there are several I intend to read. I really don't have to worry about spare time. I fill up every minute I can find without any trouble.
     There was no mail at all today but who am I to complain. Lucky me with the truest, most faithful correspondent any Navy man ever had.
     We saw "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" last night and frankly I was disappointed. Yes it was a good movie. The acting was excellent but somehow it didn't come up to the book. Tonight we have a repeat, "Laura" with Gene Tierney.
     So darling another month comes to an end. I do hope there won't be many more before we are together again.
     In the meantime Sweet keep that smile on your face and hope in your heart and who knows how soon I'll have my arms around you again. Goodnight.


U.S.S. Ocelot
The Mighty "O"

Friday, December 9, 2016


  Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 29 April 1945, 6:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am again. Today was a real easy one. This morning I had a few appointments and was through at 11:00 A.M.   After lunch I took the liberty party ashore.
     While on the island a Navy photographer asked three officers and myself to pose in front of a native cemetery. He took our names, ship, and home address. He said that the photos would hit the local newspapers in about one month's time. So you can be on the lookout around June 1, although I was looking away when the picture was taken.
     My roommate Cox just got his orders to return to Long Beach for shore duty. The catch is that he must wait until his relief arrives and that can be anytime from tomorrow to ninety days from now.
     There were no letters for me today, but I did get a luscious box of dried fruit from the Jaffe family. Just in time too because I just did away with the last of the box of fruit and nuts you sent.
     We have a 4.0 movie tonight, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." After having no movies for two nights it'll really be a treat.
     Well Darling there isn't any more new or different scuttlebutt so I'll sign off.           
     Goodnight and keep smiling.
Loving you always,

Native Cemetery on Mog Mog
Gil (on the left) with other officers

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

V-mail Slower

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 28 April 1945, 8:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here is that man again. Today was a nice easy day. I really didn't do too much work. I had five appointments scheduled for men from another ship and they were cancelled the last minute. However I had five drop in patients so I managed to fill the morning OK.
     I saw one patient this afternoon and then I went to work on those bracelets I'm making for the kids. Linda's is finished and all I had to do on Norma's is put on the chain. I hope the sizes are right. I'll make them large enough so that a couple of links can be taken out if they are too big.
I got two letters today, one from you (an old one of the 13th) and one from Libby. She is using air mail again. I guess she figured V-mail would be faster but when I told her it took twice as long she switched back. V-mail from Europe makes the trip out to here in two weeks, so I guess V-mail is better in some cases.
     I wrote letters to Libby and Ruth today. I'm getting behind again. I must write your mother, Ethyl, Herman and "I" Bergman. Then I'll be all caught up until more comes.
Do I remember my own phone number? Silly girl--how could I forget? By the way one of our barbers went back to the states and I gave him our address and phone number. He will arrive at San Pedro so I'm sure he'll get in touch with you. He is a very nice chap and his name is Trubey.
     No more for now dear so I guess I'll sign off. Good night Darling and pleasant dreams. Sleep tight.