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