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Friday, August 18, 2017

Home for Xmas

Saturday, 17 November 1945, 8:30 AM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Good morning Sweet, how is my Darling this morning? Yesterday morning Leslie and I hitch-hiked down to the ship. I talked to the captain and convinced him that he ought to recommend that I be sent home now. We wrote a letter to CNOB explaining that my points would be up next month, that my dental equipment was destroyed and that I have been living ashore since October 9. They won't give me orders right away, but I will have them on December 1. That means I should be home for Xmas. In the mean time, bureau orders may come in and if they do I'll leave sooner. Because of past experiences, I hate to tell you not to write anymore, but once CNOB accepts the request for passage back to the United States for release, it is a certainty that I'll leave. The reason I wanted my blues was that I don't plan on spending any time in San Francisco. I could check in and out of the naval district in on day. If CNOB sends me back, chances are that I'll dock in Southern California and report to the Los Angeles Demobilization Center.
     Anyway I did lots of running around yesterday and when it is all via the thumb or legs you get pretty hot and tired. We got back to the camp hungry and dirty. After a hot shower and a few beers we ate chow.
     After chow we went to the movies. In addition to the picture "Three Strangers" with Sidney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Peter Lore, we had a SSO (Special Security Office) stage show which lasted over one hour. The cast of army men must have been top-notch entertainers in civilian life. The movie was very unusual and I enjoyed it a lot.
     It was after eleven when we got back from the show. Everyone was tired and sleepy so I didn't bother to write until this morning. You certainly got all your facts mixed up but maybe it's better that way.
     I got two letters from you telling me about what you did and said to Patterson. Also I got a letter from your mother and the November Esquire.
     That is thirty for now Sweet, these next two weeks will really drag, but then I'll be on my way home. Bye for now.

Love,
Gil

Captain and Exec
USS Ocelot stern severed by the Nestor




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Chaplain

Thursday, 15 November 1945, 10:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Well here I am again or should I say still. Nothing new, nothing different, nothing definite. Tomorrow I'm going down to the ship to see if I can sell the captain and some other gold braid into sending me home since I'm not doing a damn thing anyway.
     Today has been another long, inactive day. I lay around all morning. Just before noon the chaplain from Service Division 104 came over to see me and inquire how we were getting along. Of course we've only been on the beach for five weeks, but suddenly he found time to look us up. When he left he had concluded that we were doing fine. Besides everybody wants to go home so why should we be different.
     No mail today so that concludes my report for now. Oh yes I did go to the movies. The picture should not have been released. It was "Penthouse" something or other. Who cares?

Goodnight Sweetheart,
Gil

Typhoon Survivors from the Ocelot


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Killed the Evening



Wednesday, 14 November 1945, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just another day with nothing new to go on. They've really gone to work stripping the ship, so maybe it'll be ready for decommissioning before long.
     The mail brought me two letters from dated the 7th and letters from your mother and Leon. That is one week service and that's pretty good. I have Leon's address. If I hit Frisco when I go back, I may call him. Having a car would help me get squared away and on my way home in one day.
     Tonight's movie consisted of three shorts and Chester Morris in "Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion." Just average but it did kill the evening.
     It has gotten pretty cool tonight. It looks like I'll need three blankets to keep warm.
     That is the dope for tonight. Goodnight Sweet and keep smiling, it is practically all over but the shouting.

Love,
Gil
Shipping List


Picture Album from Shipping List









Monday, August 14, 2017

The Dope

Tuesday, 13 November 1945, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Nothing new or different today. This morning Leslie and I walked over to the CBs and arranged to have our officers' laundry done. I was OD today, so at 1:00 PM I mustered the men and passed out beer and coke.
     After dinner tonight we went to the movies and saw "George White Scandals" with Joan Davis and Jack Haley. The movie had all kinds of possibilities but somehow missed the boat.
     I'm making up a box of stuff to send home. Be careful of the box of shells. There are some cat's eyes in it and one of them is really tiny. You might not notice it and throw it out. Be sure to look for it. It'd be best to keep them in the box. I had a lot more shells, but they were lost. I'm also sending back the picture album, my Schick shaver and a few things I got here at Okinawa. The little dishes are what the natives drink "saki" out of.
     That is the dope for now. Goodnight Sweet, maybe I'll have some dope for you tomorrow.

Love,
Gil

Newspaper articles


Same article from the Evening Outlook except the date is missing


Sunday, August 13, 2017

God Bless You Both

12 November 1945
Dear Linda and Norma,
     How are my big girls today? Daddy is fine and is really trying and hoping to get home soon so that we can have a real, old fashioned "Merry Xmas" together.
     Bet it is getting quite cold now. Be sure you are well dressed when you go out. You must both keep well so that when I do get home we can go places and have lots of fun together.
     Goodnight now my darlings and God bless you both.

Love,
Daddy


Saturday, August 12, 2017

No Movie

Monday, 12 November 1945, 8:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello again, this is me with nothing new or different to write about. Nothing at all.
This morning we were told to be ready to more to other quarters at 1:00 PM. Then the orders were changed, so here we stay. There is all sorts of scuttlebutt flying around. I should leave this island by December 1, but I'm not planning on anything till I get something more definite to go on. All I'm praying for is to be home by Xmas. I should make it if I get out on the first, but it would be a tight squeeze.
     After dinner tonight I went to see the movie, but because of a power failure the show was called off. Now this'll be an extra long evening with nothing to do.
     I'll sign off now. Goodnight Sweet, I'll see you in my dreams.

Love,
Gil

17th CB Theater on Okinawa where the movies were shown.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Naval Efficiency

Correct date--Sunday 11 November 1945
Sunday, 12 November 1945, 8:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Well here I am again or should I say still. The same exciting routine prevails. Eat, sleep, read, and kill time.
     Two things happened today to break up the usual routine. First I got a New Year's greeting from my cousin Nat in Brooklyn. Remember him? He is the cousin with the bum arm. I wonder whether or not it is all right now. The second event just illustrates naval efficiency. Today three young ensigns reported for duty aboard the Ocelot. When they left the United States, the news about the storm and the fate of the "Mighty O" had already broken. Though they brought the facts to the attention of the authorities in Frisco, they were sent on anyway. Don't say it. I already have.
     That is all the dope for today. Nothing new, good or bad. In fact--nothing.
     Goodnight Sweet I hope your patience hasn't entirely run out.
Love,
Gil
P.S. Hope you've received my claim check. Just mentioning it so you'll know I sent it.
Tonight's movie was another repeat performance for us "Blonde from Brooklyn."
Gil

Fate of the "Mighty O"




Thursday, August 10, 2017

Coming Home

Saturday, 10 November 1945, 8:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, how is my lonesome wife tonight? I do hope this isn't getting you down any more than it has me. That is bad enough.
     Coming direct from the horse's mouth, the captain in this case. Leslie and I should be receiving orders in the next fifteen days. Don't get your hopes up too high. Just wait for the glad tidings and then smile, or if I know you well, cry with happiness.
     I've been in little better spirits this afternoon. Reason? Two whiskeys and coke plus three beers. All before dinner. Then after chow we went to the movies. The picture was "Guest Wife" with Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche. It was hilariously funny.
     I read another condensed story in Omnibook. This time it was "Coming Home" by Lester Cohen. From the way it reads the original must be excellent.
     For now, no more to write to my love, so I'll sign off. Goodnight Darling.

Yours alone,
Gil



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Typhoon Hit A Month Ago

Friday, 9 November 1945, 9:35 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     It was just a month ago today that the typhoon hit--that day and night I'll long remember. Last night it really rained and today has been overcast. At the moment the wind is howling through the trees and it will be cold enough for two blankets tonight. For my money they ought to give Okinawa back to the Japs and make them all live on it.
     Today was just another day to cross off the calendar. This afternoon we did get a stack of mail. I got letters from you dated October 29 and 30 plus a Dental Society Bulletin and a Dental Digest. You are quite concerned about equipment, but I'm not. I'd rather take my time looking around. First, the Los Angeles County Society has been canvassing dentists to find out who would like a returning service man in his office for awhile. The Army and Navy should be releasing some equipment soon. I'd like a crack at that too. Further I've learned with my ten years of experience that equipment can be good without Ritter or SS White tags on the individual units. You might consult with the California Professional Bureau about these different possibilities. Unless they say the case is hopeless don't obligate us for any equipment. A month more or less won't make any difference.
     Our exec got bureau orders today. My request went in just a couple of days after his. Maybe I'll get a break and get mine soon and then Xmas will be a happy holiday at the Steingarts. Don't know what to say about the possibility of meeting me in Frisco. It may be terribly crowded. As for myself I'd rather come straight home. We can always go away for a few days and be comfortable doing it. Maybe I'll be lucky and come in at San Pedro. Then we can meet in Long Beach or go somewhere together just the two of us. In any case it is all still "if." We'll have to wait and see.
     Tonight's movie was the "Hidden Eye" with Edward Arnold. Another repeat for us from the "Mighty O." The YP238 gang left today so there are only five of our officers left here and six still on the ship.
     That is all the dope for tonight. Goodnight Sweetheart I'll see you in my dreams.

Love,
Gil

Captain and Exec in front of Ocelot severed by the Nestor



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

YP238 Surveyed

Thursday, 8 November 1945, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day with nothing to show for it. Another day wasted. The YP238 was surveyed yesterday. Today their whole crew got orders to return to the United States. We were surveyed about a week ago. All estimates indicate that it'll take a month before we'll be decommissioned and the crew disposed of.
     The movie was "Brewster's Millions." I went to see it again. What else was there to do? I did give dental exams to three officers who were up for promotion but I'm afraid that with a tongue blade and a flashlight, the exams were not very thorough.
     Good night Darling. Though I can't be with you my thoughts are of you all the time.

Love,
Gil

Think Gil meant the YP 289 shown below. There is no YP 238 mentioned in reports about Typhoon Louise.




Monday, August 7, 2017

Eat, Sleep, Read, Cards, Checkers

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Wednesday, 7 November 1945, 9:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day to scratch off the calendar. Nothing new to write about. All I've done in the past few weeks is eat, sleep, read, and play cards or checkers. What an exciting routine.
     I picked up a few native souvenirs and will send them home as soon as I can find a suitable box. Won't wait for something to happen causing me to lose them again.
     Again, there was no mail, so there is nothing more to write about. Of yes, tonight's movie. It was "Mollie and Me" with Gracie Fields and Monty Woolley. Even the second time it was good for a few laughs.Now I am reading "Bahama Passage." That is all for tonight.
     Goodnight Sweetheart I hope I'll have better news for you soon.
Love,
Gil




Sunday, August 6, 2017

Holier Than Thous

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Tuesday, 6 November 1945, 8:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day gone but still no good news. There are no jobs for any of us to do, yet no one is being released until he has enough points. From the looks of things the Commodore of Service Division 104, the big boss here, is only interested in one thing and that is keeping his command as large as possible. Of course if all who had nothing to do were sent home, the commodore wouldn't have much of a command and the service division might get broken up. Then he'd be a captain instead of a commodore and we can't have that.
     I do hope you've done some letter writing. When the Navy is supposed to be cutting down, a good question is: why men should be kept out here with nothing to do? As long as I am in the Navy I'm not supposed to criticize the "holier than thous" who blundered through the whole war and left it up to the reserves to fight and win. They are out here because it's their career. They can't see why anyone should want to go home.
     Today, as usual, was spent loafing and reading. Tonight's move was "The Gay Senorita" with Jinx Falkenberg, a story about Olvera Street in Los Angeles. The story itself was poor but the music and dancing made it excellent entertainment. I enjoyed every minute of it.
     I'm enclosing some more snaps. No negatives will be available so please take good care of them.
     Wish I could say something to cheer you up, but I just can't. I've let you down so many times now that until I actually have my orders in my hand I won't say a thing.
     No more for now Darling, so I'll sign off. I love you.
Sadly,
Gil

Unknown if these are the snaps that were enclosed











Friday, August 4, 2017

Bickering

Monday, 5 November 1945, 9:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     A new week just beginning. This business of waiting is beginning to tell on most of us. We sit around all day with nothing to do but get on each other's nerves. Nothing really serious has happened. But from time to time, there is bickering. Personally, if I've got to be out here, I'd just as soon do some dentistry, but no one has asked me what I'd like to do.
     This morning I read the Omnibook condensation of "Black Boy" by Richard Wright. It is well written and interesting, but the autobiography ends so abruptly that one feels that the book is incomplete. Now I'm half through "Dan Sickles" by Elgcumbe Pichon, another interesting book condensation. I believe you'd enjoy reading it in its original form.
     I've gotten hold of some more snaps. Some are dups of those I've already sent on and some are other scenes shot here and also at Leyte. I'll send them along with some more "gook" money. I don't know the derivation of the word "gook" but that's what the natives and anything pertaining to them are called.
     Tonight's movie was "Thrill of a Romance" with Esther Williams and Van Johnson." There was so much music and also so much of the Williams gal that it was worth seeing again.
     I got two more letters from you and one from your mother. As you can see I'm not on my way home yet and don't know when that happy day that I embark for home will be.
     About dental equipment. Don't worry. I'll probably get into something temporary at first and take my time getting properly set up.
     That is about all for now. Goodnight my darling. I hope you can hold out as long as I can. This can't continue much longer.

Love,
Gil
P.S. Here are a couple of one peso Philippine notes too. They are worth 50 cents each.



Leyte Natives


The Ocelot and the bow of the Nestor




Thursday, August 3, 2017

PBYs on the Beach

Sunday, 4 November 1945, 9:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day with nothing accomplished but eating, sleeping and impatiently waiting for something to happen. This morning Leslie and I walked down the road a piece and found a stock pile consigned to the military government. We talked the officer in charge out of a few sets of khakis--trousers and shirts. Now I have enough clothes to get me home. I may even need my blues. Get them ready just in case.
     This afternoon we got hold of a jeep and took a ride up the coast. We saw several PBYs (sea planes) blown up during the typhoon onto the beach. We climbed into the wrecks. Leslie took some pictures. I do hope they come out. We got back just in time for dinner.
     After chow we went to the movie. The picture was "Divorce" with Kay Francis and Bruce Cabot. It was a picture with a moral but still not very bad. Now here I am.
     It is pretty cool tonight. I did appreciate the fur lined jacket issued to me. Bet I use both blankets when I turn in tonight.
     No mail again today so that is all for tonight. Goodnight Darling and pleasant dreams.

Love,
Gil

Wrecked PBYs (Gil identified the sea planes incorrectly--they are PBMs)

Gil front left


Gil middle


Another picture




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

OD Today

Saturday, 3 November 1945, 8:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day of waiting gone to hell. I was OD today so I did have a few minor details to care for. After lunch I took one of the boys, who had a bad tooth, over to the CBs and fixed him up.
     These days are so much alike that there isn't a darn thing to write about. I'm still expecting something to break in a day or so, but all we can do is wait.
     Tonight's movie "A Bell for Adano" was very good. We had it aboard ship but somehow I missed it. I was ashore that night or something.
     There was no mail today so that is about all I've got to write about.
     Goodnight Darling I know how impatient you must be getting. There isn't very much either you or I can do about it. I'm impatient too and keep day dreaming about "us."

Love,
Gil

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Makes My Blood Boil

Friday, 2 November 1945, 11:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day gone, but still nothing exciting to tell about. Official word has come from Washington to decommission and abandon the Ocelot. Of course no one out here knew that was the word so nothing could be done. Now that we have the green light maybe we'll see some results.
     Here is another choice bit that makes my blood boil. The survey board that flew out from Washington took the weekend off to fly to Tokyo. It doesn't affect us because they've already surveyed our ship. However several dozen ships are awaiting their pleasure. They've been waiting for almost a month now, so what difference does a couple of days make.
     The mail brought me letters from you and your mother plus two dental magazines. Your letter was short note on the back of the one from your mother. It was dated October 26. Nothing to comment on.
     The movie tonight was a double feature. First we had Laurel and Hardy in "The Bullfighter" and then Pamela Blake in "Three is a Crowd." Both were repeats but I went just the same.
     A couple of days ago I sent my claim check for $410.80. Just mentioning it again. If you haven't received it yet, be on the lookout for it. I've endorsed it for deposit only so that you won't need to endorse it. Just deposit it in our account.
     And that is all the dope for tonight.     Goodnight my love. Though I can't say how soon I'll be home to say "I love you." Till tomorrow then.

Your devoted,
Gil 

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