Wednesday, May 31, 2017

No Letter

Sunday 16 September 1945 Lt. Gilbert Steingart did not write to his wife Eleanor.

At 6:45 PM on Saturday 15 September he wrote "Another dull, uneventful day is gone. I'm really getting on edge. This not knowing what comes tomorrow isn't easy to take but I guess there is nothing to do about it."

The day wasn't quite over.

Map from Hurricane Watch Network

16 September 1945

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

God Bless You

15 September 1945
Dearest Linda and Norma,
     How are my two girls today? Did you have lots of fun up at Lake Arrowhead? Sorry I couldn't be with you but next summer we'll all go on our vacation together. Won't that be swell?
     Daddy has been busy and not very much in the mood for writing letters but I promise to write again soon.
     How is school now Linda? Do you like your new teacher? I'll bet she is swell. That with dancing school for you and Norma, too, must keep you girls pretty busy.
     No more now darlings, so goodbye and God bless you.

Love,
Daddy

Linda and Norma at Lake Arrowhead


Monday, May 29, 2017

Shore Leave

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Saturday 15 September 1945, 6:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another dull, uneventful day is gone. I'm really getting on edge. This not knowing what comes tomorrow isn't easy to take but I guess there is nothing to do about it.
     There are so many men ashore waiting for transportation back to the United States that they aren't allowing ships to send any more men over. The demobilization problem is tremendous. There is a pitiful lack of transport service back to the United States. Maybe when the admiral moves they'll give us a load and send us on our way.
     I did put in a full morning's work but took it easy this afternoon. I read two books, one called "Shore Leave" and the other a historical novel "Gambler's Hundred." Now I'll go back to reading some of the Ellery Queen detective stories you sent me.
     There was no mail for me today but after yesterday's haul, how can I complain?
Last night's movie "Patrick the Great" was very good entertainment. See it. Tonight we have "Swing Out Sister" but I don't know a thing about it.
     I had intended to write more letters today but didn't get around to it. Maybe I will tomorrow.
     In the meantime Sweet, keep your powder dry and be cheerful. There is a guy out here who still loves you and misses you and hopes to be home real soon.
     Goodnight Darling and until tomorrow, adios.

Love,
Gil







Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hell of a Lot of Work

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Friday 14 September 1945, 6:40 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Okinawa may be one thousand miles north of the Philippines but it certainly isn't any cooler. The temperature went up to one hundred and two this afternoon. Because of the lower humidity, it seemed cooler than Leyte. 
     My "tochas" is still sore but I've been comfortable except for a few minutes after a BM. Anyway tomorrow I'm going back to work. I have quite a backlog of patients to take care of so I'll be quite busy for the next week or so.
     This afternoon I settled down and wrote letters to both mothers, Libby and Ruth. Tomorrow I'll write Uncle Mike, Uncle Bill and Deb. Then I'll be about caught up.
     Mail came aboard in the late afternoon and I really hit the jackpot. I got eleven letters and a card from you, a letter from Libby, two letters from your mother and my electric shaver to boot.
     I know how disappointed you must feel at my not coming directly home. However I do expect to be back in the United States before the end of the year and maybe long before. Here is the situation. A service force supplies troops and ships with fuel, food, clothing and repair necessary for maintaining an active force. Naturally there are no establishments ashore yet but as soon as they are built, the headquarters will be established ashore and we won't be needed anymore. That is the long way of looking at it. Admiral Smith should have another flagship within three weeks. There is a very good chance of our returning home then. Believe me we are all praying that will be so. Anyway you needn't be concerned about my safety because Japan is well under control now.
     It sounds like your last days in Arrowhead were quite full. I hope you didn't let Ruth spoil your stay by hurrying you home before you had planned. My guess, however, is that you were fed up with the inconvenience of the place and that you were ready to get back to decent comfort.
     I received the gold braid and the tailor will go to work on it in the morning
     The war is over but there is still a hell of a lot of work to be done. Did you know that Marine Corps officers need sixty points to get out? I wouldn't be at all surprised, even if Leon doesn't think so, to hear that he was sent out again. He has had a tour of duty overseas but he's been back in the United States a long time and there are still many doctors out here who'll need relieving. Now you know about the extra quarter point per month for sea duty. I'm expecting extra points for children to be announced soon. Of course it doesn't hurt for civilians to write their congressman. I bet they are doing plenty of writing.
     Tonight's movie is "Patrick the Great" with Donald O'Connor and Peggy Ryan. It should be amusing. 
     Now Sweet please try to hold on a little longer. The going has been rough and you've been alone and unhappy. But deep down, we were always together in spirit and very soon now we'll be together physically. Keep smiling and one of these days I'll be writing you the wonderful news you've been looking and praying for.
     Goodnight my love. I'll see you in my dreams.
Love,
Gil
P.S. We are supposed to sail from here on Tuesday 18 September so there'll be another break in mail.
Gil




Saturday, May 27, 2017

Underway to Okinawa

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Sunday, 9 September 1945, 8:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling here is that guy again. We got underway at 7:00 AM this morning. The Philippines is another place I never want to see again. We've had a brisk, fresh breeze all day and most of us spent most of our time on deck enjoying its cooling effect.
     Now that the war is over we don't have to black out, so sailing at night is quite pleasant. You can see where you are going and the lights of the other ships (forty-one in all) make it feel a lot safer than before.
     We had movies tonight even though we are underway. The picture was "Smith of Minnesota," a football story with Bruce Smith, All American, as the star.
     I really hit the jackpot in the mail this morning. Our mail was picked up at 6:00 AM. I got the Santa Monica Evening Outlook of August 1 and five letters from my own sweet wife. There was one letter of the 23rd and the rest were marked 28, 29 and 30.
     It does sound like your vacation didn't turn out so well. That's another thing I'll make up to you when I get back.
     It just began to blow and rain. I had to dash to my room and close the ports. Did I get wet going out on deck! Anyway here I am again.
     There isn't much more to write about so I'll sign off till tomorrow. Goodnight darling and pleasant dreams.
Love,
Gil

Monday, 10 September 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest,
     As long as we're underway the letters I write will go in one envelope. Today has been a very uneventful day. I did put in a day's work. I saw five patients in the morning and two in the afternoon. As a result the day went very fast.
     We got cholera shots this morning and my arm is sore--I'm toxic. Hope I feel better in the morning.
     We just heard about the additional points for sea duty. Including September I have forty-two. The next step will be additional points for children and I'll be out. I don't think it'll be long.
     Tonight's movie is "Dancing Over Manhattan," a repeat on our ship. Sea movies, that is movies shown while the ship is underway, are always old. We won't see anything new until Friday or Saturday.
     Just think Sweet by June I'll be a civilian even if they don't make any more changes in the point system. The way things look now, I may even be out before my previous guess of March. I hope so.
     Dr. Bushyager got orders back to the United States and will leave as soon as relieved. His relief is flying out and may see us when we arrive in Okinawa. That'll leave Kuhn and Aspinwall as the only officers aboard the Mighty "O" longer than I. Even if we don't head home soon I should be back in the United States before many weeks.
     That is thirty for tonight Darling. Goodnight and keep smiling. Happy days will soon be here again.
Love,
Gil


Tuesday 11 September 1945, 8:00 PM
Hello Dearest,
     I awoke this morning feeling 4.0. That shot didn't knock me out for long. At 10:00 A.M. I let Dr. Law take a look at my "tochas." What I thought were "piles" turned out to be a small fistula. He cauterized it for me and I've been miserable ever since. I can't sit, stand or lie down comfortably. I took some codeine at 11:00 AM and dozed until 4:00 PM--even missed lunch. I did go down to see the movie but gave up. I'm going to take something and turn in.
     Excuse the short note, but I don't feel up to any more now. Goodnight Darling until tomorrow.
Yours forever,
Gil

Thursday, 13 September 1945, 6:35 PM
My Dearest,
     Here is the guy with the sore "tochas" again. I hope you'll forgive me but I was so miserable yesterday that although I did sit down to write, I gave up before I even got started. Instead I went to my room took a sedative and dozed all afternoon and evening. I did get up for chow but hit the sack in a hurry soon thereafter. Today I feel much better and have been up and around practically all day. It hurts like blazes when I go "toidie" but I get relief with a bautzen ointment. I inject it immediately following the bowel movement. Anyway there was no bleeding. This evening the doctor looked and said it's healing fine so I'm glad that I over with.
     We are now anchored in Buckner Bay, Okinawa. We had a nice, smooth and uneventful voyage. I hope we don't stay here long. In a few days, we'll probably move on to Japan where Admiral Smith should get his new flagship. Then I hope the Ocelot will be homeward bound. What a happy day that'll be.
     We sent a boat off for mail and movies, but so far they haven't returned. I suppose I'll get a bagful in the morning if not tonight.
     By the time you get this letter I'll have had just about fourteen months on the Ocelot. I do hope that my remaining days aboard can be counted in a very few weeks. However you and I can only hope and pray that the wheels of fate grind out the future as I say (quite poetic, eh? Phooey).
     Well Sweet I've little more to say except those three little words, "I love you." Goodbye now and until tomorrow.
Your lover,
Gil

Mighty "O"

USS Orvetta and the USS Ocelot in the background


























Friday, May 26, 2017

Ocelot is Seaworthy

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Saturday 8 September 1945, 6:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling, here I am again. No rain today but it has been overcast. Looks like we're leaving in the morning. I hope this letter gets off before we do.
     In all the time we've been out of the states we've been very fortunate that we never ran into any real storms. However according to the weather man we'll have a rough trip this time. Who cares, the Ocelot is seaworthy and we'll have lots of company. A rough trip (not too rough of course) would be something of a change.
     All my appointments this morning were broken because the ships sending the men over for treatment had departed. Instead of dentistry I worked up the menu for next week and made an inspection of officers' country. Some of the rooms were clean but others were not so I turned the stewards to. They scrubbed and polished all afternoon.
     At 4:00 PM I returned to my room and visited with Dr. Law (my roommate). Soon it was time to shower and dress for dinner. I miss the cribbage games we used to have in the captain's cabin. The new skipper Lt. Cmdr. Warwick is a swell fellow and hails from Whittier, Calif. but he has been busy learning about the ship and getting her ready to sail.
     I was surprised again today by three more letters from you. We never expected to get mail after the 6th because our previous sailing date of 7 September. Guess now that the fighting is over they are very interested in morale.
     I'm sorry that you are so nervous and upset. Wish I could write that I'm on my way home but that is beyond my control. I heard more scuttlebutt today to the effect that sometime this fall all Servron 10 ships will return to the US for thirty days leave. If the Ocelot does go back she'll never go out again. I've got it all figured out. By January I'll have 60 days mustering out leave and after that 2 1/2 days for every month thereafter. When I return this fall I'll take 30 days leave and that'll still leave me 30 days or more when I muster out. That'll give me about $330 over and above the $300 mustering amount and that is nothing to be sneezed at.
     You can stop wondering about how we'll feel when we're together again. We'll feel like newlyweds and act like them too. But after all, we were together for about ten years and only apart less than one and a half years so we'll just forget that unpleasant period and enjoy our being together more than ever before.
     I'll always think you look nice. My nerves haven't changed and the kids won't worry me at all. I'm still a big kid at heart myself. I doubt that I've changed any except that I'll want to enjoy life with you and the kids even more than ever before. No my Sweet, you have nothing to worry about. It would take more than a war and a year or more of separation to change my feelings and love for you and the kids. I know that you'll feel the same towards me. Forget it Sweetheart, nothing to worry about there.
     We have a movie of an unknown quantity tonight. It doesn't sound good but one can never tell. It is "Trouble Chasers" with Maxie Rosenbloom and Billy Gilbert. From the cast it will be lousy but who can tell.
     Adios my Sweet and it'll be five or six days before you get my next letter. Keep your powder (on your face--no tears) dry and be of good cheer. It seems like a long time since I sailed. Soon we'll be together and forget the unpleasantness of it all. Goodnight Darling. I'll keep writing daily even if I can't mail the letters.
Lovingly
Gil

The Ocelot is Seaworthy




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Monsoon Season

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Friday 7 September 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweetheart how is my "bride" to be? It is still raining and hasn't stopped since yesterday morning. The monsoon season (rainy) is supposed to start in October but I guess it is just a little early this year. However I'm not complaining. It has cooled a lot and the temperature is down to about seventy-five degrees.
     This morning, I did some dentistry for a change. I was busy until 11:00 A.M. and then I secured. I'm planning lots of salads for our lunches next week and hope the officers like it. Monday we'll have fruit salad, toasted cheese sandwiches and ice cream. Wednesday, a salad with pork. Friday, shrimp salad. Then there'll be tenderloin steaks, chicken, turkey and roasts for dinners, so we should have a good menu.
     We are still leaving on Sunday the 9th. Although the war is over we will travel in convoy (twenty-eight ships) with three escort vessels and we'll all be blacked out. Some Jap subs are still unaccounted for, so we aren't taking any chances.
     I was surprised with a letter of the 27th from you and am I pleased. I'm sorry you aren't enjoying the vacation like I hoped you would. Guess we're a little different from the Siegers in our likes and dislikes and I don't mean vacations alone. We always did enjoy being together and always will. But we don't like roughing it.
     Tonight we have a good movie and rain or not I'll be there. It is "Sally, Irene and Mary" and should be good entertainment.
     I still can't write a long letter. As soon as I hear from you I'll go to town telling you what you want to know.
     Goodnight my love. I pray we'll soon be one again. Dreaming of you day and night.
Yours alone,
Gil



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sailing to Okinawa Postponed

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Thursday 6 September 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another busy day for me and again no dentistry. The mess caterer's job is quite involved so I've taken the last day or so to get it squared away. Now everything is shipshape and I can resume being the dentist once more.
     All morning was taken up with planning the seating in the wardroom and assigning various duties to the individual stewards. In the afternoon I haggled with the flag personnel officer and got a Filipino steward to run the wardroom for me. Then I ordered three hundred cases of beer to take to Okinawa with us. Liberty is very poor for enlisted men there and the beer supply is limited. We'll buy what we can up there and supplement it with the stuff we have aboard. So the day went.
     It has been raining steadily all day and the ship has cooled off considerably. At five I took my regular shower and changed into fresh clothes and then to dinner. Now here I am.
     Our sailing date has been postponed till the 9th. Because we were supposed to be sailing soon all our mail is already going to Okinawa. So it'll be a week before I get any more mail.
     By the way when I was over at Tolosa last night I saw an Army captain dental officer who looked familiar. He turned out to be a Captain Crump who graduated from USC in '31. This is a small world isn't it?
     I still haven't answered any mail. Maybe when we get underway I'll be in the mood to do some writing.
     Tonight's movie is "The House of Fear" with Basil Rathbone. Hope I like it and that it's worth sitting in the rain for.
     What do you want to know? I'd like to write more but don't know what about so--.   Goodnight Sweet. I'll see you in my dreams.
Love,
Gil




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fouled Up

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Wednesday, 5 September 1945, 1:45 AM
Dearest Darling,
     Here I am writing to you early in the morning again. With the various fleet movements and personnel changes, my appointments are all fouled up. Out of five appointments this morning not one showed up.
This afternoon I took ashore the cosmetics you sent me and traded most of them for some souvenirs. I got a set of mother of pearl which should make up into a beautiful ring and earring set, some woven sandals, two beaded bags, two native bracelets and some shells. When we get to Okinawa maybe I'll be able to trade off the rest of the stuff. They went for the perfume and nail polish. The lipstick was the hardest to get rid of but I did get $1.00 in trade minimum for each item, some $2.00.
     We got back to the ship at 5:15 so I showered before going to chow. After chow the tug I usually use came alongside and seven of us went over to Tolosa for the evening. While we were there I met some USO entertainers that had been aboard and we visited. I even had a short dance with one of the girls. I'd have enjoyed it much more if it were you whom I was dancing with. At 11:15 we went out on the dock but we didn't shove off until 11:35. Arrived at the Ocelot at 12:30 and went to the wardroom for a sandwich and coffee. Now here I am.
     Because it is late I'm going to sign off now. Goodnight my Sweet and pleasant dreams.
Your husband who loves you,
Gil


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Censorship Ain't No Mo

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Tuesday 4 Sept 1945, 9:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey, the lid is off. Censorship ain't no mo? Fire away.
     Briefly here is what happened when we got to Pearl. Commodore Carter, Commander of Service Squadron Ten was looking for a flagship and since the Ocelot had no definite duty to perform, she was it. For nine weeks we lay along the dock while the shipyard equipped the ship for his duty. A service squadron has the duty of supplying food, clothes, ammunition, fuel, personnel and anything else you can think of to the fleet. The Ocelot was the floating headquarters and we housed about 85 officers and 700 men on our ship. Squadron 10 grew by leaps and bounds and soon there were several divisions functioning at Eniwetok, Ulithi, Leyte, Saipan and Okinawa. When Commodore Carter went back to the states, Rear Admiral A. E. Smith relieved him as Commander of Squadron Ten. In addition, Service Division 101 under Commodore Du Val also was established aboard. Now that the war is over, the Squadron is breaking up. 101 is going to China and Korea and Squadron 10 to Okinawa and then Japan.
Here's the good news. The Ocelot is very old and has no place in a peacetime Navy. There are many newer vessels suitable for flag ships. Admiral Smith has asked for another and is supposed to get it within thirty days. Further the Ocelot has no heating in crews' quarters and isn't suited for duty in a cold climate. So the scuttlebutt is that as soon as the Squadron gets its new flag ship we'll go back to the U.S. for decommissioning.
     I've never even intimated it before but we did have a few visitors while we were in Ulithi. I saw a tanker torpedoed and sunk about 2000 yards from our ship. One night before the movies while we were singing Red River Valley, two Jap planes flew overhead. We all cussed them out thinking they were our own. The reason for the cursing was that they were flying very low and without lights. Anyway the Randolph, a carrier, was about 1000 yards astern. Suddenly one of the planes dove and the whole anchorage lit up. There were numerous casualties but the ship was repaired and back in action in two weeks. We've had other lesser excitements but we came through OK. I'm surprised you never read about it in the Outlook. Dave saw the item about it which was broadcast by Tokyo Rose. He cut it out and sent it to me. He hoped you hadn't seen it and didn't call your attention to it lest you worry unnecessarily.
     So much for that. Today was quite a busy day for me but no dentistry, just collateral duties. We are slated to leave for Okinawa on the 7th and it'll take 5 to 6 days to make the run. We will be anchored in Buckner Bay so if Leon does ship out tell him to look for me. The Ocelot is a famous ship and anyone who has seen duty in the West Pacific knows about her. He shouldn't have any trouble finding it.
     Just think Darling in another month or six weeks I may be homeward bound. I get so excited just thinking about coming home to you and the kids that I wonder how I'll act when the thought becomes a reality.
     We had a good movie tonight. Gary Cooper and Loretta Young in "Along Comes Jones" was it and quite good.
     I got five letters and a card all from you but they were marked the 22nd and 23rd of August. I've already received some of the 25th so all the news was old. By now you are home and I hope the stay up at Lake Arrowhead was real nice. Yes Dear we have a honeymoon to go on and I hope it's real soon. I'm a lousy writer of love letters but when I get back I'll prove personally that I'm no amateur.
     So Sweet, I'll sign off. Goodnight and pleasant dreams.
Love
Gil

Outlook Article About Bombing of the Randolph























Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bitch of a Day

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Monday, 3 September 1945, 1:30 AM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling. Here is your busy husband again. This has been one "bitch" of a day. I was busy all morning and ran into the toughest extraction to date. I worked for a whole hour. When we were through I was more worn out than the patient.
     Captain Hartfield got his orders yesterday and turned over his command to the new skipper this afternoon. I had several monthly reports that he had to sign. Since he was scheduled to leave about 5:00 PM I had to hustle to get them out.
     At 3:45 I took a VP over to Tolosa and brought back a USO show. It was called Lucky Seven and consisted of five women and two men. They are a colored troupe and they sure have rhythm. A colored lieutenant colonel (medical officer) came along with them. I had an interesting talk with him. The show was excellent and at 9:15 I had a picket boat pick us up to return the troupe to Tolosa.
     Just as we came alongside the dock it began to rain and our return trip was really rough. It blew and rained so hard that there was a solid sheet of rain around us and we couldn't see more that a few feet ahead of our bow. The run ordinarily takes thirty-five minutes, but it took one hour and fifteen minutes to get back to the Ocelot. Naturally when we sighted the Ocelot the rain eased up. Then I went up to the wardroom and sat around and talked until just a few moments ago.
     No mail today. I'll be glad when everything gets squared away again and the mail service becomes more dependable. You'll never know how disappointed I am when the mailman passes by my office without dropping anything from my Sweet off (split infinitives--such grammar!) Of course it isn't your fault. I know you write me every day, but I'm still registering my complaint.
     Today is Labor Day but until an hour ago none of us were even cognizant of the holiday. Oh well the only holiday I'm looking to is when I get back to my own sweet wife and darling kiddies.
     Goodnight Honey, it really is time for me to turn in. We have quarters for muster (line up in formation to be accounted for) at 8:00 AM so I'd better get some shuteye pronto. See you in my dreams.
Love,
Gil






Friday, May 19, 2017

Picket Boat Is My Favorite

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Sunday, 2 September 1945, 10:35 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Sunday, a day of rest or so it says in the "big book." I spent most of the morning working on next week's menus and getting the stewards squared away on how I wanted things done.
     After lunch I got me a tug and went over to Tolosa for a few beers. There were three of us in the party. We had a new tug today, a seventy-five footer with a crew of ten men. The US Navy got this ship from New Zealand, a reverse land lease deal. It cost $145,000. You've probably wondered why I've been using tugs most of the time. Well they are more comfortable than a VP or a whaleboat and make better time. Of course the picket boat is still my favorite but there are only two available and they are hard to get. Anyway we got back to the Ocelot at 6:30 just in time for a late turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
     After chow I went up on the forecastle and listened to music until movie time. We had another pyrotechnical display tonight to celebrate VJ Day. It didn't come up to the August 10 celebration. Do you realize that though it was September 2nd here when the treaty was signed that it was still September 1st in the United States? Tomorrow will be Labor Day here, but you'll be celebrating VJ Day. Confusing isn't it?
     Tonight's movie was "A Blonde from Brooklyn," a class B picture but not too bad. Also we had a short about Port Hueneme.
     No mail today so this is thirty for tonight. Goodnight Darling until tomorrow.
Loving you as ever,
Gil

Picket boat being launched at Kirkland Marine during WWII.



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Censorship Relaxed

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Saturday 1 September 1945, 10:30 PM

Dearest Darling,
     And now begins a new month. Today has been hot and sultry and I did have my usual busy morning. I spent this afternoon bringing the wardroom books up to date and closing them for last month. After eleven months on this job I finally convinced the Captain to appoint a new treasurer and what happens but I get elected as caterer. Instead of handling the money, I'll have to prepare the menus, and supervise the wardroom, officer's quarters and the stewards who work in officer's country. One consolation is that a new caterer is elected every two months and cannot be re-elected unless he is willing.
     At 5:00 P.M. I showered and dressed for dinner. After chow we played cribbage and then to the movies. We had "Nob Hill," with George Raft and Sally Blaine. Not a bad movie but nothing too exciting.
     Censorship rules have been relaxed to the extent that we can now say where we are but not where we are going. From the enclosed pictures you can guess where we are. If you'll look on a large map you'll find San Pedro (or Pablo) Bay in the Northern part of Leyte Gulf. We are anchored in the bay about 12 miles south of Tacloban which is the capital of Leyte. When I've mentioned using the tug I usually went there or to Tulosa which is about 8 miles east on Leyte. We are really closer to Samar and there is an excellent officers club there and also a large enlisted men's recreation area. The only objection is that one is confined to the area and there are no roads to go places and do things. Simmie is about 2 miles north of Tulosa and I've already been past Dulag which is 20 miles north of Tulosa. This town is rather primitive and the civilians are poor and live in filth and squalor. However the Navy Club is nice and is open at night which explains its attraction over the others that secure at 5:00 P.M.
     Has Leon left yet? If he has write him and if he hasn't tell him to look for the Ocelot when he reports in. We will be in that neck of the woods one of these days. By the way soon there may be no mail for five days or so but I know you'll understand.
I got four letters today, two from you and one each from Mike and my sister Libby. I was glad that Nat's operation is over and that all went well.
     Maybe we won't stay up north long. I have good and valid reasons but can't discuss them as yet. Anyway there is a good chance of us heading home in a month or two and I personally feel it would be a safe bet. Anyway the Ocelot is an old ship and would be one of the first to be decommissioned when the program gets underway.
     Please darling don't be too unhappy or pessimistic. This sudden end of the war has disrupted the rotation plan and we may be apart a month or two longer this way. But it is over and I'll be a civilian again a lot quicker than I ever dreamed a month ago. Points for sea duty will be given in a couple of months and I bet that fathers will also get extra points. Anyway I believe I'll be out by March but I'll be home months before that.
     Goodnight my love, I do miss you and need you and pray than soon we can talk things over instead of this long range correspondence.
Yours forever
Gil

Gil's Photos of Leyte