Saturday, July 1, 2017

Camp in Okinawa

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 12 October 1945
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, here I am finally settled in a beautiful camp overlooking the sea up in the wooded hills of Okinawa. The officers here turned their club over to our officers and the officers from two other ships. Our men are also being well taken care of. Now our only worry is how soon will we leave this place?
     The storm did a terrific amount of damage and many ships were lost. To try to describe our abandoning ship would sound weird to you. Someday I'll tell you about it.
     I went back to the ship today. The stern was completely broken off and submerged. Sick bay, including my office, can only be gotten into at low tide. At high tide it is completely flooded so all the equipment and supplies are a total loss. All my uniforms are a mess. All I took off was some underwear and a few souvenirs that somehow others overlooked. It seems that as soon as the storm abated, sailors from other ships came aboard. Before the six officers and fifteen men still aboard could drive them off, they went through everything. Anyway, who cares? I'm safe and sound and the Navy will repay me for my losses. Because I have such a little time left to serve, I'll not replace most of the stuff I lost and try to get by with one suit of blues and a few odds and ends.
     I wrote letters to you, Libby and my mother the night before the storm, but I doubt that they ever reached the post office. It they did they were probably lost there because the PO ain't no mo! I did write my mother a short note the day before yesterday (when I wrote you) and I'll write her again tonight.
     So Darling, all is well that ends well. Goodnight and please don't worry about me. No use writing me either because I won't ever get the mail. I'll keep writing just the same. Love to you and my girls.

Devotedly,
Gil







Remains of Post Office

Photograph Album That Survived


First page of photograph album
Officers' Mess--Gil at right