Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Cigars

Lt. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday, 18 June 1945, 7:15 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Hon, here I am again. I've got a peach of a head cold today and my sinuses are sure draining. However otherwise I feel okay, so I should be over this in a couple of days. I had a busy morning but this afternoon I "crapped out" in my bunk because of my running nose.
     I'm reading a swell novel and if you haven't already you should read it. It is "It is Still the Morning" by Louis Danz, a simple story of an ordinary young man but written in a very unusual style. I showered at 5:15 and dressed for dinner.
     I bought two boxes of cigars ($8.00) to pass amongst the officers and some of the crew--an old Navy custom.
     After yesterday I really didn't expect any mail. Zowie another jackpot. I got five lovely, sweet Father's Day cards from my three girls, two letters from my favorite wife, a letter from Dr. Ivie and a copy of the picture a navy photographer took of me on the beach where we were before we moved. You remember I wrote you about it and told you it would appear in the paper. Well a couple of days after the picture was taken we met the same photographer on the beach and he said he wanted to retake the picture and did. However the photo he sent is the original and he has me down as lieutenant commander. Should the paper contact you before running the picture, correct that. I'd send the picture on but it only shows our backs and is lousy. I'll just keep it.
     The Merchant Marine deal is alright but it does have its drawbacks. There is no compensation for injury or death or any of the veteran's benefits after the war. Also the only medical and dental care they get is emergency treatment. The leaves are worth something but after the war, benefits accruing from service in the Armed Forces will far outweigh the good pay. They also don't get the income tax exemption of $1500 which service personnel get.
     No, we don't show our letters to anyone, at least I don't. However I have shared some of the poetry and clippings with other officers.
     The movie tonight is "It's in the Bag" with Fred Allen and Jack Benny. I hope it's funny.
     Nothing more for now my Darling so I'll sign off with love and kisses from
Your loving "daddy!"
Gil


Photo Taken by Navy Photographer in Ulithi
What is that suitcase doing there?
Gil is the short one




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hint of Victory

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday, 17 June 1945, 10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,     
     Just to celebrate and today being Sunday I took the day off and didn't see any patients. Instead I visited for awhile with a couple of dentists who came over to our ship on business. Then when the mail came onboard I found I'd hit the jackpot and spent the rest of the morning reading these precious letters, ten of them, one from your mother and one from Marty and the rest from my Sweet.
     This afternoon I finished "Saratoga Trunk," censored some mail and took it easy. Showered at 5:00 PM and dressed for dinner. Then we had our regular cribbage game until movie time. Tonight's picture was just fair. It was "Gentle Annie" a story of the Oklahoma frontier at the beginning of this century. We did have two good shorts, one a color cartoon and the other a Wayne King musical short.
Now to your letters. They were postmarked the 5th to the 10th.
     Even when we're at sea the letters are postmarked the day the ship's post office receives them. Understand? My school marm seems to be kept quite busy. Oh well, only a few more days and vacation will be here.
     From the program and your letters the dancing school show must have been excellent. Why shouldn't our daughters be stars?
     No dear I didn't ask you to wait for your fur coat until I was a civilian, only until I got home. However if you do run into a real good buy go ahead and get one. I just thought I'd like to help you choose one. That's all. I do expect to be home by Xmas.
     Talking about pictures several have been taken of me and if we can find some time to develop and print them soon I'll send them along.
     You don't sound too enthusiastic about Nina's visit. I do hope it pans out okay and that you don't have to put yourself out for her.
     So Norma is at the crying age. Sorry to hear that she cries every time you go out. Linda got over it so I guess she will too. I do hope you aren't letting it upset you.
     Yes the papers are hinting at the possibility of an early victory over the Japs. Thought the same thing a long time ago (two months ago). Check my letters and see. The next three months will tell the tale. Either it'll be all over or we'll have a tough year of fighting ahead of us.
     Never be sorry for anything you didn't do or buy. Bet our new home will be even nicer than the one you wish we'd bought.
     Your letters are precious dear and not "silly." After all if you couldn't write your thoughts to me, who could you tell them to?
     There is no reason why you shouldn't put some money in Postal Savings. There is some interest involved and it is available on demand. Go ahead and do it.
     OK let's set the alarm for 2:00 AM. Though I bet we won't need any alarm for awhile.
     I'm glad that Dr. Sands found you mother in better health than Leon thought she was in. Just the same, she should take it easy. Ruth should hire some help to do her housework or maybe do it herself.
     So the G's want to know where Sol will go next. I wish I knew, but it is a safe bet that before moving in on an operation his ship will stop at our last anchorage or come to where we are now. 
     The barber probably missed you because he's already in Florida which is his home. Cox's home is in Arizona but his wife is planning to meet him in Long Beach and live there. He is regular Navy and his three kiddies mark the three times he's been home in the past eight or nine years. That's no life for me.
     There are several General Hospitals in this area and I'll have to have an address before I go off looking for someone. I'll probably be here for awhile yet, so I'll hold on until I get something more definite to go on.
     No more for now Sweetheart so I'll say goodnight with the hope that all your dreams do come true and soon.
Loving you as always,
Gil
P.S. I owe practically everyone a letter now, so I'll have to settle down to some serious writing real soon. Bye now.
Gil

Dancing School Program























Friday, February 24, 2017

Officially a Lieutenant

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 16 June 1945, 10:50 PM
My Dearest,
     Hello Darling, tomorrow I will officially be a lieutenant with pay and allowances as of June 1. The ALNAV finally came through and I took my physical this afternoon. As of now you can drop the (j.g.) from my address.
     Today was just the usual Saturday morning with plenty of work and cleaning to prepare for captain's inspection. This morning I had a slight rawness of my throat so I've been taking sulphadiazine. I feel 4.0 tonight. I've learned that preventative treatment is much better than waiting until my throat gets sore. I've not had a sore throat since I left the United States.
     This afternoon I censored mail, attended to some welfare work and then read "Saratoga Trunk" for awhile. Then I showered and dressed for dinner. After chow a dental officer reporting to one of the other ships here came aboard looking for information and transportation. I arranged for a message to be sent to his ship and fixed him up with a bunk for tonight. Then we went to the movies to see "Santa Fe Trails" with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. It was so old it was new again. It's a story about John Brown and his fight to free the slaves, remember?
     If I were home tomorrow we would go out and celebrate my promotion, but as it is I'll probably stay aboard. However I'm planning to go ashore on Monday and bend the elbow a few times.
     No more for now so goodnight my darling until tomorrow.
Yours always,
Gil

Promotion to Lieutenant

Result of Physical 




Newspaper Article





Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Arms and Legs in Casts

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 15 June 1945, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just another day far away from the one I love. Worked as usual all morning. After lunch three of us took a boat over to the hospital to see Jim Lyons. Poor fellow he is in bed with both forearms and both legs in casts and will remain so for 90 to 120 days. In spite of it all he is quite cheerful and making the best of a very unpleasant situation. We visited with him for an hour and then returned to the ship. 
     There was no work for me to do because it was field day. So I stripped down to my skivvies and censored a stack of mail. Then I read from "Saratoga Trunk," showered and dressed.
     I sent off an air mail package with a little something I made for each of my girls. I do think the chain on Norma's gift is too heavy so if you like you can have a finer one put on. Both of the kiddies' gifts are made from coconut shell. Yours, you'll be able to tell more about when you see it. I've still got some other ideas about the coconut shell and will see what comes of it.
     The mail service has been very poor lately. Guess the mail planes have been grounded because of adverse weather conditions. I did get one letter today dated June 5. I received the 4th three days ago.
     I see you are still teaching. Well, vacation will be here soon and you'll get a long rest. Maybe by the time school opens again I'll be home. One never can tell.
     I'm sure Norma's party will be or should I say was a great success. I'm sure missing plenty but we'll re-celebrate all these occasions as we've planned.
     We had an old but excellent movie tonight, "Fired Wife" with Louise Allbritton and Diana Barrymore. We saw it together long ago.
     Well Sweet, I'm all done for tonight so bye and pleasant dreams.
Love,
Gil

Was Jim Lyons aboard this hospital ship?




Monday, February 20, 2017

I'll Be A Lieutenant

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 15 June 1945, 7:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey how is my favorite wife tonight? I was plenty high when I wrote last night and I do hope you'll forgive me.
     Today was a busy one beginning with a tough extraction and keeping me hopping right along right through the afternoon. However I was through by 3:15 and went up to my room. Censored some mail and began another story. I'm reading "Saratoga Trunk" by Edna Ferber and I think I'll like it.
     There is still no mail so I suppose when it does come I'll hit the jackpot. Still no ALNAV, so the communications officer went over to another ship where it has already been received to get a copy. A few days one way or the other don't really matter as my pay increase is still from June 1. However officially I should be a lieutenant tomorrow.
     We have another excellent movie tonight. It is "Lost Angel" with Margaret O'Brien. We've really been lucky in the quality of our movies lately. I do hope it keeps up.
     Our exec is going home on emergency leave tomorrow. His mother is very ill. I do hope he gets home in time. Dan Graves left for the states yesterday. He got his orders two months after Ivan Cox who is still waiting on his relief. When my orders do get here, I hope I won't have to sit around and wait a long time for my relief.
     There isn't much more to tell so I'll say goodnight to my own darling wife. Gosh but I wish the next few months were behind me. "Nite, nite," Sweet. I'll see you in my dreams.
Love,
Gil

Gil's Insignias
Lieutenant




Saturday, February 18, 2017

Smoking a Cigar

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 13 June 1945, 7:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello my Darling, here is that guy again. At present I'm smoking a cigar so draw your own conclusions.
     At 8:00 AM three of us shoved off for town. Each had with a particular errand. I had the job of lining up a USO show. Though I got nothing definite I did get a promise for next week. So I'll have to check up on it later. We got back at noon just in time for lunch.
     After chow, just to make a day of it, I joined a group going over to the club for a few drinks and now you can see the results. We got back at 6:00 and had a late dinner at 6:30. Someone gave me a cigar. Who I don't know but I'm smoking it anyway.
     When I returned, I had expected some mail. No luck. Hope tomorrow does better by me.
     The movie tonight is Bob Hope in "My Favorite Blonde." I think I've seen it before but hope it will be just as good a second time.
     We still don't have a copy of that particular ALVAV but I know it's out and the communications officer promised to have a copy for the old man (captain) tomorrow. Then I'll be a lieutenant officially.
     Nothing more for now so I'd better sign off before I say something foolish. "Nite-nite" my Sweet. I'll do better tomorrow night.
Love,
Gil

Gil in front of Officers' Club







Thursday, February 16, 2017

Devotion

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 12 June 1945, 10:45 PM
My Darling,
     Here I am again Sweet. It has been raining more or less steadily since last night and it certainly has cooled things down. As a matter of fact I had to pull up the top sheet and spread last night to keep warm. Hope it stays this way for awhile.
     This morning was the usual routine of examinations and fillings of teeth. I removed a difficult impaction in less than thirty minutes and was through for the day.
     Late this afternoon, I read a little and then showered and dressed for dinner. After that I played some cribbage until movie time. The picture tonight was excellent. It was "Devotion" with Ida Lupino and Olivia de Havilland and is about the Bronte family of literary fame. Do see it. I know you'll enjoy it.
     There was no mail for me today but I do expect some tomorrow. As I've said before the service out here seems excellent. How fast are my letters reaching you?
     Tomorrow morning I'm getting a boat to take me into town so I can arrange for a USO show aboard ship. I'll probably be gone all morning and maybe even part of the afternoon.
     Nothing more that is new or different to comment on. So I guess I'll sign off.     Goodnight Darling and sweet dreams of the one who loves and misses you more than he's ever said.
Yours alone,
Gil





Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Made Lieutenant

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 11 June 1945, 7:15 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Greetings. Although our ship hasn't received the ALNAV, others have. I did make lieutenant this month after all. The communications officer will pick up all past messages on Wednesday so I'll have to wait until then before it becomes official.
     Spent my usual busy morning examining and filling teeth. After lunch I had my books audited. Then I took a boat over to another ship in an attempt to run down some USO shows that are touring out here. Wednesday morning, I'll run into town and make final arrangements.
     The mail today consisted of two letters from you and one from Libby. Even though we are considerably further from the states we still get seven day service. All the letters were postmarked the 4th and yesterdays were through the 3rd.
     Somebody had a good idea about souvenirs from out here which I intend to follow up on. He bought about $20 in unused stamps of different denominations. They can easily be sold in the states at twice face value. Also coins and a few bills will be added to my collection. I already have quite a bit of the Japanese invasion money that is used here. So all in all I'll have something to show that I was here. Okay don't get excited. I still intend to buy something for you and the kids.
     Now to your mail. I'm sure glad Norma is OK. I was a wee bit worried about her. So Dick is in the "dog house" at camp. In spite of Ruth, soft jobs certainly won't be passed out to him. It serves Ruth right for standing in the way. She ought to lighten up for a change.
     I don't believe Sol's ship will go to Manila, but rather come here. I'll keep a weather eye out for him. It would be nice if Dave did make sergeant. Who knows? Funnier things have happened.
     There you go again. $4 to the Junior Hadassah. Even if Mrs. G. did ask you, you could have said no. Those $4 items here and there add up. You've no business throwing money around especially if you don't intend to go to their meetings. Do I have to chide you all the time or must I put you on an allowance a la Goodfriend.
     I don't have Vic's and Simmie's addresses but I've already written you for them so I guess they'll get here in a couple of days.
     I'm almost certain to be home by Xmas. As a matter of fact I'd even bet money. You know how sure I am when I bet.
     How about making up a small package of dime store cosmetics i.e. lipsticks and small vials of perfume. Pack them in a cigar box or some such wooden container so they'll arrive safely. I'd also like some glassine envelopes for keeping the stamps I'm going to buy. See now, you've got another package to send me.
     We have a 4.0 movie tonight. "The Picture of Dorian Gray." I'll have to hurry if I want to get a good seat.
     Goodnight Sweet and no matter what I say I still love you.
Devotedly,
Gil


Vessels in Leyte Gulf











Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day 1945



14 February 1945


A card designed by a sailor aboard the U.S.S. Ocelot.






Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hospital Ship

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 10 June 1945, 6:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling here I am again. I began
the day by examining members of the crew from 8:30 to 9:30. Then I got a boat and went over to the hospital ship to visit Jim Lyons. He is the officer who fell through an open hatch. He was in the operating room. After waiting for thirty minutes I was told that it would be another hour before he was out. In as much as I had a boat lying off and waiting, I decided to leave and come back again in a day or so. Got back just in time for lunch.
     After chow I came down to my office and found nine letters. There were six from you, one of "I" Bergman and one each from our mothers. I spent this afternoon getting my wardroom statement for May completed. Then I read for awhile.
     Now to your letters. Didn't I comment about my wife when I wrote about the snaps? How does she look? Lady you'll never know how good those snaps looked to me and how many times I bring out my album and thumb through the pages and dream of days to come. You look swell and not too fat. Or were you holding your tummy in?
     I'd like our kids to have skates. If we get them slow pairs to learn on, they should never exhibit anything more than a few black and blue marks.
     Naturally when I get orders, I'll try to get a ship headed for San Pedro but that is just a matter of luck.
     See you got a couple more days of teaching. Guess there won't be many more since summer vacation will be here.
     You mention Norma's eye and hand being swollen but said nothing definite. I do hope it was just an insect bite and she's over it. She's had enough for awhile and so have you.
     Nothing yet about my promotion and frankly I'm not looking for it this month anymore. However an ALNAV may come out and surprise me so we'll just have to wait and see.
     I like you idea about celebrating all the holidays and occasions that I missed. Just think--Xmas 44, New Years, my birthday, Linda's birthday and Norma's too, 4th of July, our anniversary. I shan't go any further. Maybe we'll be lucky to celebrate the remaining holidays of the year on time.
     We have another old movie tonight but like "Old Faithful" I never miss. This time it's "The Song of the Bernadette."
     Well Darling that is thirty for tonight. Goodnight my Sweet. I hope you're over your gas and bilious attacks soon and for good.
Loving you always,
Gil

A Hospital Ship








Saturday, February 11, 2017

Farewell Dinner for Commodore Carter

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 9 June 1945, 10:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,     
     Hello Sweet, how's my darling tonight? For myself I'm still at it. Worked as usual this morning and even took care of a couple of patients this afternoon. Then I worked some more on the gadget I'm making for you. I wrecked it so now I'm starting all over again. I'll still try to finish tomorrow.
     We had a special farewell dinner tonight for the commodore and after chow the captain invited the doctor and me to join him and the commodore in a game of cribbage until movie time. The picture tonight was an oldie I had seen in San Diego. It was "Sensations of 1945" with Eleanor Powell. However there was lots of good music and entertainment in it. I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Do you remember the circus we attended in San Diego? Well the whole troupe was featured in the movie.
     There was no mail for me again today so I'm really hoping for the jackpot tomorrow.
     Although the weather out here was supposed to be just as hot and sticky as our last station, so far it has been more comfortable. We have frequent rains but the best part of the deal is that it is overcast a great deal of the time so the sun doesn't beat its rays down on us all day long. I sure hope it keeps up.
     Honey, I forgot to mention when I wrote about my tour of the town that I saw about five dental offices and one doctor's office. The next time I go into town I'm going to pay a call on one or two of the dentists and see how they practice out here. The most amazing thing, however, was the abundance of beauty parlors. They are so Americanized that the signs all have pictures of American women on them rather than native women.
     One of our officers fell down an open hold and broke his leg and wrists. Prior to evacuation back to the states, he is over on a hospital ship.
     That's all the dope for tonight. Goodnight Darling, gee how time is dragging this month. Wish I'd get busy again. Bye again Sweet and I'll see you in my dreams.
Loving you always,
Gil

Undated message from the Commodore below. The article in Wikepedia appears to have the wrong date for his departure.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Cascade_(AD-16)#A_Personal_Message_from_the_Commodore_to_all_hands_in_Service_Squadron_10










Thursday, February 9, 2017

Scotch Whiskey

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday, 8 June 1943, 9:45 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am again and this time just a wee bit tight. 
     I've begun re-examining the crew and checked twenty men this morning. Then I worked until 11:30 and secured for the day.
     After lunch I joined a party of officers going ashore. We had a swell afternoon. For the first time since I left the states, I was able to get scotch whiskey. We all drank plenty of it. We got back at 6:30 just in time for a late dinner.
     After dinner I went down to my office and found three letters from you, one from Libby and one from Mary Regan. When I finished reading them it was time for the movies so I shoved off. The picture wasn't too good. It was "Leave it to Blondie" but there were two good short subjects with it, one a Leon Errol comedy and the other a travelogue about Cuba.
     Now your mail. One was an oldie of 8 May and the others were of the 30th and 31st of May. Looks like my wife is still trying to teach those brats and they just won't learn. Oh, well! No dear I'm not at Okinawa so quit worrying.
     Parkus is a lot of bull. I know because I did business with him. If Foreman and Gordon are his busiest dentists then he must be slipping. Nothing more to say. I think I'd better turn in.
     Goodnight darling. I'll try to do better tomorrow night for I do love you.
Devotedly,
Gil
P.S. No ALNAV as yet but scuttlebutt persists that I'll make lieutenant this month after all.


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