Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Second Atomic Bomb

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 9 August 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Still hot and I'm still sweating. It looks like rain tonight; I sure hope it does rain. The war news is very encouraging with Russia being in it and the second Jap city already hit by the new "atomic bomb." Imagine the possibilities if such energy could be harnessed for useful purposes.
     Had quite a busy morning. This afternoon I took a few pictures and then had my mess statement audited.
     I've been offered the use of a jeep for tomorrow afternoon. So the skipper and I are going ashore after lunch to do some sightseeing.
     I had a haircut this afternoon and then after showering and censoring mail, I finished "China to Me."
     In the mail today I got three letters from my Sweet. It seems that you and I are seeing the same movies now. I missed a good one when I went ashore yesterday, but I'll probably catch it later. It was "Incendiary Blonde."
     Glad to hear you Lake Arrowhead plans are shaping up okay and I hope you have a swell stay there.
     Sweetheart, I wouldn't disappoint you for the world. I do hope to be home by fall but you know I don't write orders, I just comply with them. Maybe the war will suddenly end and the ship will return to the states even before that date. Who knows?
     Tonight's movie is the "Chicago Kids." Enough said. Goodnight Sweetheart until tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Atomic Bomb

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 8 August 1945, 4:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Had a busy day but didn't do a lick of dentistry. To attend to some recreation matters, I took the picket boat into town this morning. It was 11:30 before I got back. Washed up and had chow.
     After lunch there was a meeting of all division officers in the captain's cabin. Then I went to work and finished the wardroom statement.
     The mail brought me four letters and the cutting head for my Schick. Now I'll be okay till the other shaver arrives. Three of the letters were from you Sweet and the other was Deb and Dave's baby announcement.
     You are continuously complaining about Betty's inefficiency. Can she really be trusted with the girls? I often wonder about that.
     I'll go to work on the lockets. I think I can work something out for the whole family.
     I do hope Jimmy is right too. If his experience has been the same a mine as to dental officers going back early maybe it is becoming a general policy with the bureau. Anyway with the new atomic bomb and all, maybe the Japs will give up in a few days and we'll all be coming home. What a wonderful thought.
     I'm saving the $100. I really want to be there when you buy your fur coat and maybe I'll have enough saved by the time I get back to be able to pay for it in full.
     The reason I'm writing early is because I'm going over to the club with a group of officers this evening. We don't drink much but we have a lot of fun singing and talking and telling stories. Tsk, tsk.
     No more for now Darling so I'll sign off. Goodnight and pleasant dreams.


Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Town Scenes--Leyte

Monday, April 24, 2017

High Powered

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 7 August 1945, 7:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello my Sweet here is your hubby, just a wee bit tight. I worked all morning as usual. But this afternoon I got lazy and went over to the club with several others. We got back just in time for dinner and now here I am.
     I got two letters today, one from you and the other from my mother. You letter was of the 20th; yesterday's was of the 30th so there isn't anything worth rehashing. I've already done it before.
     We had another officer report in today which makes three new ones in two days. Hope they keep it up and get to me real soon.
     Have you sent the gold braid yet? You never know what'll happen. If you haven't done so, take care of it right away.
     Tonight's movie is another stinkeroo called "High Powered" with god knows who. That is all the news for now so I'll sign off.
     Goodnight Sweetheart, I'll see you in my dreams.

Your lover,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Need Piano Tuner

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 6 August 1945, 10:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day, another dollar or so the saying goes. About 11:30 last night the medical officer we've been looking for arrived and this morning Cox's relief also showed up. Now Dr. Bushyager and Dr. Law are waiting to see who moves. Bushyager hopes he'll go back to the states as he has eighteen months out. It won't make any difference to Law. If he leaves here he'll get another assignment out here. Well, we'll wait and see.
     I worked all morning as usual and this afternoon. I took a picket boat for a run into town to see about a USO show. I've got one scheduled for Friday night provided I can find a piano tuner in the meantime. I've got a line on a couple but I won't know definitely until tomorrow.
     I got back to the ship at 4:30, reported to the captain and retired to my room. Took a shower and then censored mail and read until time for dinner. After chow we played cribbage until movies and now here I am.
I got two letters, a copy of the Outlook and some Navy literature. So the visitors were uninteresting? I'm sorry they had to spoil an evening for you.
     My mother's report about Nat's office is surprising. Now is the time to make money and it can't be done under a set-up such as his. Somehow I can't feel about things as Jimmie does. Maybe I'll feel different when I'm closer to the activities. I feel I'm doing an important and necessary job and though our separation has been a long one we'll make up for it later and in many ways.
     Of course Ruth wants Leon to be there for Harry's 50th. However if she's going to make such a fuss about it how can she ask everyone to go Dutch. What's the matter? Did Harry lose a couple of thousand in the market? Gosh she's tight.
     Yes dear we got the dope on the plane crash into the Empire State. As a matter of fact we have a very complete newspaper that comes out every night.
     Tonight's movie was old and lousy. "Barbary Coast" with Edward G. Robinson, Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea.
     That is thirty for tonight so I'll sign off. Pleasant dreams my Darling.


Time Magazine article about Ulithi dated August 6, 1945. The USS Ocelot was in Ulithi from November 3, 1944 until May 24, 1945.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pom Pom and Tuba

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 5 August 1945, 7:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Today is Sunday. As I've written previously, I am not taking any appointments on this day. So I have a whole day off. Well almost.
     Our baseball league competition began today so we took four teams over to the beach and ran two games simultaneously. After the game we served beer all around. We left the ship at 8:30 and got back at 11:30 just in time to wash and eat lunch.
     After lunch I settled the wardroom commissary bill. Then I worked up a rough draft of the mess statement. I read from "China to Me" until it was time to shower and dress for dinner.
     Chow this evening was excellent. We had chicken noodle soup, fruit salad, roast chicken with dressing, giblet gravy, peas and spuds (which are shipped). For dessert we had cookies and black walnut ice cream (I had two dishes). Then we played cribbage and here I am.
     Kay Kaines is out here and put on a shows last night and tonight. I was too tired to go last night and two lazy tonight. We sent a party of 150 men last night. They all enjoyed it except for five men who wandered off and got some "pom-pom" (guess what) for $10.00 and then drank some native brew called "tuba." When they got back to the ship they had to be carried aboard and have their stomachs pumped. Bet they never drink that stuff again. As to the pom-pom, prophylactic treatment was given. Although they'll undoubtedly get by, there is a terrific amount of venereal disease among the natives.
     I got two letters today. One from my Sweet and one from Libby. From the way Libby writes Nat's illness is serious. I do hope she is wrong.
     Today's letter was marked the 30th. Now I'm missing the 27th and 29th. I see you are still worrying about your weight. With all the running around and work you've be doing there shouldn't be any reason for dieting, unless of course you are stuffing yourself with candy. Are you?
     For tonight the movie is "Thrill of a Romance" and is supposed to be good. That is all for tonight so bye until tomorrow.


Another reference to pom pom on the 4th of July wardroom menu

Friday, April 21, 2017

England Socialistic?

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 4 August 1945, 11:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just another busy day for me dear. How was it for you? The same I hope. I was busy all morning with patients. This afternoon I took the liberty party ashore. Just as a prophesied yesterday. When we were ready to return to the ship it began to rain and we were all thoroughly soaked by the time we arrived. The rain cooled everything off considerably. I was going to change clothes after my shower anyway so no harm done.
     After chow we played our game of cribbage and then to the movies. Tonight we had "Earl Carroll Vanities" but it could have been a much better movie. Then to the wardroom to read the news (tomorrow's) and now here I am.
     The mail brought me a letter from you and one from your mother. I also got the box of cosmetics you sent. So now I'll see what kind of a horse trader I'd make.
     I took a few snaps on the beach today and will take some more tomorrow. I'm using Tom Glass' camera. So I'll have to use the film up in a hurry because he'll be leaving in a few days. I've found out why you haven't been hearing from any of the men who went back recently. The Navy has adopted a new policy of sending a man on to his home on leave the day he arrives in Frisco. So they really haven't had time to make any phone calls.
     Your letter was a short one. I guess there is an earlier one I'll get tomorrow. I am curious about the visitor from the East. I suppose I'll read more about it in a day or two.
     The perfume on the kiss you sent me has even permeated the paper I'm writing on. Its sweet aroma is very pleasing to "feminine aroma" starved nostrils.
     Has England gone out and out socialistic? I read of the change in Britain but nothing more has appeared in our news.
     Well in a day or two I hope you'll be on your way to Lake Arrowhead. I know you and the kids will enjoy the change.
     No more for now Sweet and so I'll say goodnight.

Loving you always,

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 3 August 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Sweetheart,
     Here I am still sweating it out. Worked all morning as usual but this afternoon was field day so no appointments. Instead I worked on the wardroom statement and read for awhile. I'm reading "China to Me," by Emily Hahn. It is an autobiography and quite interesting. Then I showered, censored mail and dressed for dinner. After chow we played cribbage and now here I am. My routine doesn't change very much, does it?
     It is still hot with no clouds to shade the ships and sea from old sol. Just to give you an idea of the heat. I was reading with a fan, just three feet away, blowing down on my back. My back was quite cool and yet sweat just poured off me where the air from the fan wasn't hitting me. I've given up looking for rain though I suppose it'll rain tomorrow because it's my turn to take the liberty party ashore.
     Tom Glass, our supply officer, got his orders today and returns to the states in about a week. Cox is still awaiting his relief. Hope when my orders come that I don't have to sit around and wait like he is. It has been almost 4 months. That would drive me nuts.
     I got two letters and the hunting knife from you today. It's a good knife. Although I don't expect ever to need to use it, it's good to have one. I had bought one aboard for $1.35 and sold it for $2.00 today. So everything is okay in that deal.
     When you are busy, I've notice that you are in much better spirits. I'm glad that you are able to occupy your time so well.
     God knows when the shaver will get here by parcel post. Packages are received out here via air mail but all the dope I could get on it was in the request letter I sent you. Anyway it is on its way now and maybe it won't take too long.
     Penicillin was first used by the Army and Navy. Its application is quite simple and its usefulness is quite universally known. Just some more Goodman propaganda I guess.
     Tonight's movie is "Don Juan Quilligan" with William Bendix. It should be good. I enjoyed "A Medal for Benny" last night. I hope you did too.
     That is thirty for tonight Sweet. So goodnight and pleasant dreams.

Yours forever,


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Feminine Odor

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 2 August 1945, 7:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     How is my busy wife today? I'm getting quite lazy. It is just too darn hot to work. My clothes are soaked with perspiration even when I'm sitting still. This is one helluva rainy season. I bet when it starts to rain it won't stop. The way I feel now, who cares?
     Still and all I did work all morning and would have early this afternoon except that at 1:00 PM we had a surprise fire and rescue drill pulled on us. There was a meeting of all division officers immediately following.
     I spent the late afternoon in my bunk reading and sweating. At 5:30 I showered and dressed for dinner. After chow, cribbage as usual and now here I am.
     I got three letters and a sweet scented kiss on a card from my Sweetheart. Also a letter from Ruth. Was the odor on the card the perfume I sent you? The fragrance has completely permeated my office and the odor of something feminine is really nice to have around.
     I'll have to read the material you sent me on Zionism. I'm afraid that till now I've been against the principle of the thing. But I guess I can be convinced otherwise. Our girls must have really changed since I last saw them. I

'll have to take plenty of time getting reacquainted with them.
     Thanks for Dave's address. I'll write him soon.
     I even had our anniversary date wrong. I had it as the 25th. I guess because of the heartbreak in 1934 I will always be fuzzy on the date.
     So you got thinner? Well take it easy and don't overdo. You'll need all the energy and pep you can muster when I get back. So will I. That's a date for our twelfth--a double celebration.
     Tonight's movie is "A Medal for Benny." I hope it's good. Last night we got back a few minutes past midnight. By the time I had a sandwich and coffee it was 1:00 AM. Now I'm a little sleepy. If it isn't too hot, I'll turn in right after the movie.
     No more for now Sweet, so I'll say goodnight. See you in my dreams.


Wedding photo July 24, 1934
The nuptials had been scheduled for June 25, 1934, but were postponed when Gil's father died.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fry Eggs

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 1 August 1945, 5:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet here is your perspiring hubby again. The sun's smile has changed to a leer. Its hot rays beat down unmercilessly on our ship. It's so hot you could fry eggs on our steel decks. Out here it is supposed to be the monsoon (rain) season. Nary a drop in five days. Maybe tomorrow.
     Had my usual schedule today and worked all morning. This afternoon I helped organize a softball league. We have twelve teams on board who will play in inter-division competition with the winner representing the Ocelot against all comers. Prizes and fun are in store for all participants.
     I counted up my cash in preparation for balancing my mess statement. After that I censored some mail and finished the mystery story I was reading. By then it was 5:00 PM so I showered dressed and here I am. I'm writing before chow because I'm going over to the beach with several officers. It'll be past midnight before we get back. Don't worry. I won't drink too much. I'll be very careful.
     The mail today brought me the book "101 Years of Entertainment," the collection of mystery and detective stories and the May B'nai B'rith Bulletin.
     Tonight's move, though I won't see it, is"Dodge City." We saw it together, remember?
No more for now darling so I'll say so long, until tomorrow your
Hot and perspiring old man,

U.S.S. Ocelot

Monday, April 17, 2017

Important Man

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco 
Tuesday 31 July 1945, 10:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am just as usual. Today has been another hot one. How I wish it would rain!
     I worked all morning and part of this afternoon and then I went to have my hair cut. After that I showered, censored mail and began another book, "Homicide for Hannah," a murder mystery. Soon it was time for chow and then our nightly game of cribbage.
     Our movie tonight was "Escape in the Desert" with Philip Dorn. Just fair. Now here I am.
     Again there was no mail this morning. But late this afternoon I got five letters from you written Saturday, Sunday and Monday the 21st, 22nd and 23rd.
     So Cousins is the most important man on his post. My, my! Well so am I with the select group of patients I have. An admiral, commodore, a mess of captains and commanders to say nothing of lower ranking officers all dependent on me for dental care makes me quite important too. Like hell it does. It's just Cousins all over again.
     Now that you have a firsthand report from my mother about Libby's home you aren't jealous anymore. As I matter of fact I can hear you meowing. Here, kitty, kitty! Shame on you.
     I'm glad the kids enjoy the beach. If the lake Arrowhead deal flops again, I wonder if going to the beach regularly would be the answer to your vacation problems. Sounds like the house is all fixed up now. Bet it's real nice and I can hardly wait until I can see for myself.
     I don't know why you have to have the family over. It hasn't been very long since you last had them over. It is too much for you and does cost money. What's the use of talking? By the time you've read this, you'll already have done it. I hope everyone enjoyed it. I know they did with your excellent planning.
     I'm glad you got the little remembrance I made in time for our anniversary. The shell sure takes a beautiful finish. You know there is no varnish or lacquer on it just a natural high polish. I'll put your order for necklaces like Norma's on order. I've just finished another shell bracelet. Each shell has been specially treated with acid to bring out some beautiful colors. I'm making earrings to match and earrings to match the last bracelet I sent you. I'd like Deb to have the one I sent you or maybe I'll get around to making another for her. We'll see.
     The proposed release plan for the Navy will do nothing more than release older men. It is amazing how few have sufficient points.
     I hope I get my shaver soon. So far I've been able to borrow one, but it is an old shaver and it'll likely to fall apart while I'm using it.
     No more for now Darling so I'll sign off. Goodnight Sweetheart. I'll see you in my dreams.

U.S.S. Ocelot Dental Officer

Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Sweat

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 30 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another hot day with no rain in sight. Sweat has been just rolling off me all day long. I'll be surprised if I don't get this paper wet before I'm through. 
     I worked all morning and part of this afternoon. Then I wrote a letter to Deb. At about 4:00 PM, I went to my room, undressed and showered. I censored some mail and finished "Captain from Castile." After dinner we played cribbage and now here I am.
     Again today, there was no mail. I was really disappointed. I guess I'll hit the jackpot tomorrow.
     Last night's movie, "Valley of Decision," was good but didn't measure up to the book. As a matter of fact I found it rather slow in places. Tonight we have an oldie in Technicolor, "Northwest Mounted Police" with Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard.
     There are lots of rumors floating around about an early Jap surrender but all my early optimism has changed and I don't look for an end to this mess until the summer of 1946.
     In the meantime I sweat it out until my relief and orders get here. Then I'll hurry home to the one I love.
     Meanwhile Sweet I'll just say goodnight and I'll be with you again tomorrow.

U.S.S. Ocelot

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Got a Small Tug Boat

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 29 July 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Here I am again Sweet. Today was Sunday so I didn't have any scheduled appointments. Instead I wrote four letters this morning and then read in my room until noon.
     After lunch I got a small tug boat. The captain and other officers went ashore with me. We left at 12:30 and got back at 6:00 PM. We had a few beers, walked along the beach and just took it easy. We got back late, but we didn't play cribbage and ate with the first sitting. Now here I am.
     There was no mail today except for a B'nai B'rith Monthly. Mail has been very sporadic all week. I did forget to answer one question so I'll do so now. That information I sent to the Fleet Dental Officer was in response to an article published in an official naval bulletin. However in addition to that I'll send in a request to the Bureau. I'll make that request next month.
     We have what should be a good movie tonight Greer Garson in "Valley of Decision." Last night's movie had Chester Morris in it, not Richard Dix as I had stated. Anyway skip "Rough, Tough and Ready" when it comes around.
     No more for now Honey so I'll say goodnight.
Loving you always,

A Small Tug Boat

Friday, April 14, 2017

Built Ice Cream Machine

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 28 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling, today is another anniversary for me but I wish it weren't so. One year ago today I reported aboard the Ocelot. Was that a day! We were both so stunned that we didn't realize the meaning of it all until later. Now the greatest portion of our separation is behind us and soon we'll all be together again.
     This morning the admiral officially took over command of the Flag and a "change of command" ceremony was held aboard at 8:00 AM. From then on it was a typical Saturday morning with work and preparation for captain's inspection.
     This afternoon I finished "Leave Her to Heaven" and began "Captain in Castile" a historical novel of the time of the Spanish Inquisition. The setting is in Spain and Cuba. Very interesting. Because of the rather full depiction of torture methods, I won't recommend it for you.
     At 5:00 PM I showered, censored mail and then dressed for dinner. After chow we played cribbage as usual. By the way, we built our own ice cream machine and have the stuff every day. We make seventy gallons a day. There is enough for all.
     I got three letters from my Sweet today and one from each of our mothers. We must enjoy our movies a lot more than people at home do. The movies that you thought were just fair seemed excellent to me. Guess we appreciate the little entertainment we get!
     Wish you'd square up with Bessler. A bird in the hand, you know. Take $40 and if there is more we'll follow up on it when I get home.
     Guess I was right about Leon. The Bureau did catch up with him. Well he can't complain. He's had a long tour of duty stateside and Okinawa is pretty safe now.
     The money is bone-fide Jap invasion money. I have more, and the higher denominations show use. However the smaller bills weren't used because there wasn't anything to buy with them. Everything was sky high.
     Glad Deb and the baby are doing well. I must write in the next day or so. I've been so lazy lately.
     The movie tonight is "Rough, Tough and Ready," with Richard Dix and Victor McLagen. Probably just as poor as Jack Benny last night but I'll go anyway.
     Now I'll sign off. Goodnight Sweetheart and pleasant dreams.


  • The U.S.S. Ocelot, flag of Service Squadron 10, built it's own ice cream machine. However the squadron had an ice cream barge. The concrete hulled barge cost one million dollars to build in 1945. It had to be towed by tugs or other ships because it had no engines. 

  • Posted by Linda Frumkes