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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Santa Monica--Civil Defense

Thursday 26 August 1943

Dr. Gilbert Steingart, a dentist, joins the war effort as part of the United States Civil Defense Corps. He is a member of the Emergency Medical Service Unit in Santa Monica California.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tribute

Sunday 2 February 2003

Lt.Gilbert Steingart died.

A beautiful video Young at Heart: A Tribute to Gil Steingart by Verna Harvey Gindoff is posted on YouTube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmMTeDL8ouA

Clips include Gil's 90th birthday in 2000 (he recounts the typhoon), his sister-in-law Deb Gindoff's 85th birthday in 2000, and his granddaughter Lisa Frumkes' rehearsal dinner and wedding in 2001.



Lt. Gilbert Steingart (1946)

Friday, September 29, 2017

90th Birthday

Saturday 29 January 1990

Friends and family gathered to celebrate Gil's 90th birthday. On the day of his actual birthday, he and his friend Sandy were on a trip around the world. His recollection doesn't quite jibe with the letters he wrote 55 years earlier. The story of the two typhoons had morphed into one. Verna Harvey Gindoff made a video at the party. The following is a transcript of audio from that recording.  

GIL:  January is a big month for me. I was born in January. Then in 1943 the navy called me, and I entered in January. Then in 1946 January, the navy was very very generous in allowing me to return to civilian life. January is a big month. Here I am in January again. If I'd waited another couple of days we'd be out of luck.  Anyhow. Maybe next year in January we can do it again.

GEORGE SEEDS JR.: Tell us a navy story.

GIL: No navy stories tonight

GEORGE SEEDS SR.: Tell us about the typhoon and how you got off the ship and all that kind of crap.

GIL: Navy typhoon.

DEBBY GINDOFF:  It's true.

GIL: It's a miserable story but you know we sailed from Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. We were  heading for Tokyo. Got to Okinawa. Something was the matter with the screw they said so we had to repair it.

QUESTIONER:  What kind of ship was it?

GIL: Well we were on

DEBBY:  A flagship.

GIL: A flagship? It was old freighter that had been converted to the flagship for the service squadron.  The damn thing  could go twelve knots when you had the thing wide open and then it would go for awhile and go phfft. We were under repairs when we got the warning that we were having a typhoon heading for Buckner Bay in Okinawa. Any ship that was able to get up steam they got out. Everyone who could get out got out.

We couldn't get out so we put anchors on one end of the ship and another anchor on the end of the ship. As the typhoon came in the anchors wouldn't hold.  We were torn lose. Then we started to go ahead. Anywhere the wind went we went.

They blew one way and other way. Finally. The skipper knew, according to the charts, that a reef was there. So he figured we'd head up on the reef and we'd be  okay.  He headed up on the reef. The elements were not in favor of it, turned the ship around.  There we were sitting on a reef.  Every time the sea hit us we rolled back and forth .  Back and forth.

QUESTIONER:  Were you scared? Actually, I didn't know what was happening so I couldn't be scared.

GEORGE SR : Typical navy.

GIL:  This is not the end of the story.  The wind blowing blew in a little patrol vessel that had some depth charges.  The skipper of that ship wanted to get rid of the depth charges so he dumped them over the side.  And as our ship rolled back and forth, it rolled over and  it triggered one of the depth charges. That's not bad cause we're sitting on a reef.

The wind is still blowing and here comes an LSM (landing ship with troops on it) starts heading in and plows into the hole that was blown open and that cut us in half.

At that time the skipper called me up to the bridge and he said you and the medical doctor are abandoning ship and you are going over the side and going ashore so when casualties occur we'd be there.

I had on an old Mae West. I had to go down to the office. Got the medical records. Threw them over one shoulder and some other records over the other shoulder.

Went over to the rail and looked down.  There was a little raft big enough for 2 people.  The skipper wanted me and the medical officer to go down to that  raft. Well it was 60 feet down.  I had never gone down a line in my life.  I'll guarantee if you watched me you'd have said I'd been doing it my whole life. 

But anyhow as I started going down the ship  anytime the ship would roll over,  I'd look in at nothing but water.  When we got up I could see that raft again. Got down onto the raft.  This raft by some kind of a system they had they had shot a breeches buoy ashore and had raft tied to a line that was going to pull us to the shore, that was 100 yards or so.

The medical officer and I got into this was a foam raft with slats on the bottom.  They started bringing us in. Every time the sea would raise us up and put us down on the coral would work on the bottom. It didn't long before no bottom was left.  Our legs were hanging down in the cork raft.  Every time we went down we'd pick up more coral. The medical officer and I decided this is not a very good idea. So we got out of the raft, got a hold of the line and pulled us into the shore.

QUESTIONER: What happened to the boat?

GIL: Who knows? And that's my story.

DEBBY: Did you have any casualties to take care of afterwards? No casualties thank God.

Our ship was lined up with a whole bunch of ships that were all piled up together. The sailors were going from one ship to the next to get ashore. And I had a beautiful collection of seashells.  That was gone. Nothing else went.  This was something that appealed to the sailors, so they picked it up.

Anyhow. That's my story of being shipwrecked.

Links to the original accounts of the two typhoons are below: 

TYPHOON IDA


TYPHOON LOUISE
WWII Navy Dentist: Shipwrecked
http://wwiinavydentist.blogspot.com/2017/06/shipwrecked.html

WWII Navy Dentist: Wind Hit 130 Knots



The ship, U.S.S. Ocelot, after "the typhoon." 

Here is an early version of the birthday party invitation.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Return to Practice of Dentistry

After Saturday 22 June 1946
Guesstimate of date

Newspaper Clippings





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Secretary of the Navy

15 March 1946

A letter from James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy.



  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

President of the United States of America

17 February 1946


Original certificate (17 February 1946) from the President of the United States signed by James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy. My dad had a photostat copy made of the certificate which was notarized as being an accurate copy.  A mystery. Why is the date of the notarization (5 January 1946) before the date on the certificate? 

Original certificate



Photostat of certificate

Notarization of the photostat

Friday, September 22, 2017

Released at Midnight

Sunday 18 February 1946

Lt. Steingart's one month and 26 day leave expired at midnight. He was released from all active duty.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Surgeon General

4 February 1946

Lt. Steingart received a letter from the Surgeon General of the United States Navy.




Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dinner Dance

Sunday 6 January 1946
Guesstimate

Family Party at Earl Carroll's


"Earl Carroll's theater, 6230 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California ... over the doors of the entrance Carroll had emblazoned the words "Through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world." An "entertainment palace", the glamorous supper club-theater offered shows on a massive stage with a 60-foot (18 m) wide double revolving turntable and staircase and swings that could be lowered from the ceiling ... Another major feature at the theatre was its "Wall of Fame", where many of Hollywood's most glamorous stars had inscribed personal messages on individual concrete blocks... mounted on an outside wall of the building."  Wikepedia


Monday, September 18, 2017

New Year's Eve

Monday 31 December 1945

Eleanor and Gil attended a New Year's Eve party at Phil and Anne Gindoff's. Phil and Anne were the parent's of Dave Gindoff (brother-in-law).


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Evening

Friday 28 December 1945
Guesstimate of date

Excerpt from newspaper clipping


Photo probably at the Beverly Hills Hotel
From left to right: Eleanor, Gil, Libby Frug (Gil's sister), Nat Frug (Libby's husband), Deb Gindoff (Eleanor's sister), Dave Gindoff (Deb's husband) 

The Starlit Room in Hollywood opened in 1945 and featured cross dressing acts.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Christmas

Tuesday 25 December 1945

Lt. Steingart, his family and friends celebrated.

Newspaper Clippings



Linda and Norma in New Christmas Coats


Holiday Card



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Checkage

Saturday 22 December 1945

Lt. Steingart reported to the Separation Center. His orders mention "checkage."  Does that mean a check was written. He also signed an affidavit.

Orders Fifth Endorsement

Affidavit
Orders 6th Endorsement

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Released

Friday December 21, 1945


Lt. Steingart reported to the Los Angeles Separation Center and released from active duty.





Monday, September 11, 2017

Arrived

20 December 1945

Lt. Gilbert Steingart arrived at Union Station in Los Angeles.  His wife Eleanor and daughters, Linda and Norma, were there to meet him. 

Union Station 

Memorandum







Sunday, September 10, 2017

Another Telegram from Gil to Eleanor

Wednesday 19 December 1945


Telegram to Eleanor
.S3996 9 TOUR=TW SANFRANCIECO CALIF 19 224F
MRS G STEINGART=
714 EUCLID ST SANTAMONICA CALIF=
TRAIN DELAYED ARRIVE ON COASTER THURSDAY MORING AT 835=
GIL.
835.

Southern Pacific Train Assignment

Pullman Berth 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Telegram from Gil to Eleanor

             
Tuesday 18 December 1945

Lt. Gilbert Steingart telegramed his wife Eleanor regarding his arrival on the Coaster.
S410 10=EUGENE ORG 18 230P
MRS G.STEINGART=
714 EUCLID ST SM=
WILL ARRIVE WENESDAY NITE AT TEN CHECK STATION FOR DELAY=
=GIL.

Orders to proceed to Separation Center in Los Angeles
Southern Pacific Ticket Envelope

This Pssenger's Check for an upper pullman berth was probably inside the envelope.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Portland, Oregon

Monday 17 December 1945 

USS Oconto (APA 187)with Lt. Steingart aboard arrived in Portland, Oregon



Orders



Portland Hotel Club



Purchased Pullman Berth on train departing from Portland to Martinez on December 18



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Telegram from Anne Broudy

Sunday 16 December 1945

Telegram from Eleanor's cousin Anne Broudy, a school teacher, in Philadelphia. She thought Gil had arrived home. He was still at sea.


S64 10+PHILADELPHIA PENN 16 1026A
MRS GILBERT STEINGART=
714 EUCLID AVE SM=

SO HAPPY ABOUT GILBERT HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ENTIRE FAMILY=

ANNE BROUDY.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Telegram from the Navy

Thursday 13 December 1945

On 16 December, Gil will not arrive in San Pedro, California. On that day, the USS Oconto (APA 187) is scheduled to arrive in Portland, Oregon to undergo repairs. Further destination is unknown.

Telegram from the Navy

To Eleanor from Navy. Received 1945 DEC 13 PM 3 16

Filed
S328 16 COLLECT=PORTLAND ORG 13 255P
E STEINGART=
714 EUCLID SM:

=OCONTO DUE PORTLAND EVENING 16 DECEMBER WILL REMAIN FOR VOYAGE REPAIRS FURTHER DESTINATION NOT KNOWN:

=NAVY PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER

USS Oconto ( APA 187)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Oconto_(APA-187)