Tuesday, October 30, 2018

At Sea--Tetanus Shot

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francsico
Thursday 26 October 1944, 9:00 PM
Dearest Wife,
     Was I mad this morning. It must have been past 1:00 AM before I finally turned in. During the night the clocks were turned back a half hour. The mess boys didn't know that so they woke me at 6:30 AM. Now I'll be short the half hour from 6:30 to 7:00 AM that I usually sleep in.
     I have arranged my hours of work so that I do all routine dentistry in the morning before it gets warm and stuffy. For the rest of the day I stay topside as much as possible.
     This morning after I finished up my appointments I got another tetanus shot and my arm has been sore ever since. I've had many shots but this is the first time I got a real reaction.
     The other day, I picked up a magazine you might enjoy. It is called "The Woman" and is a digest magazine such as "Readers Digest." There were several articles I enjoyed reading and I know you would also.
     This afternoon with my sore arm and the warm weather, I found me a cool, shady spot on the captain's bridge and read for a while. In the late afternoon the captain invited our exec and me into his cabin for a cup of coffee. Then I visited the navigation bridge until dinner which was lousy.
     This evening, the exec, Hansen, Cox and I went to the wardroom and played a few games of "Peek" which I described to you a long time ago.
     Sweet, I do feel punk tonight. My arm is sore and achy and I'm perspiring to beat the band. Good night Honey until tomorrow. I love you as always.
Your one and only

Saturday, October 27, 2018

At Sea--Stars and Constellations

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 25 October 1944 12:00 (Midnight)
Dearest Eleanor,
     After writing last night, I intended to turn in because it was past 11:00 PM. However there was no sleep in me so I went up on the bridge and kept the watch officers company.
     It was a beautiful night. The sky was completely lit up by stars and a bright moon hanging high. I just couldn't help think how wonderful it would be to have you with me on an ocean cruise. When I turned in finally it was past twelve.
     Today was just another routine day. Worked all morning and part of the afternoon. It was rather stuffy in my office and I knocked off about 3:00 PM. Spent the rest of the afternoon on the bridge. We could see rain squalls on the horizon and expected some foul weather which didn't materialize. The cloudy sky of early evening gradually cleared up and by 11:00 PM the stars and moon where shining in all their glory.
     Our navigator began pointing out various stars and constellations and before we got through I had a chart of all the large stars and planets which I'm going to study. Astronomy is very fascinating and I will have time to do a little studying.
     It is really late night so I must say good night (better yet good morning) to my darling. Until tomorrow, loving you always.
Your husband

Thursday, October 25, 2018

At Sea--Welfare Officer

Tuesday 24 October 1944, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling how are you? Believe it or not this has been a busy day from the time I climbed out of my sack.
     I worked in my office until lunch time. Since then I've been busy with other duties. Because of some changes in the ward room mess I have a closing statement for the last period to complete and I haven't found anyone yet who understands accounting. Anyway I spent three solid hours doping out a statement and I hope I have it correct now.
     Then, as welfare officer, I've had calls for fishing line, medicine balls, poker chips, playing cards, dart games and what have you. To top it off I brought our record player down from the radio shack, where it was hooked up to the ship's Public Address System, and set it up to play from 8:00 PM till now. You see the rest of ship is dark and quiet after 8:00 PM to give watch standers a chance to sleep.
     Yes honey, I manage to keep my days full and like it better that way. How are you passing your time? Do the kids keep you as busy as ever or does Betty keep them out of your way? Gee I wish you could sit out on deck with me and enjoy the warm, balmy evening, look at the many twinkling stars in the sky and let me whisper sweet nothings in your ear! Now it would be time for a nice hot kiss and a bunny hug. That's the way I feel today. Sweet and all I can do is dream about you now. Well there will be many days when I shan't need to dream about you because you'll be right there and will I be willing and able! And will you?
     Well, Sweet, I am sleepy and will probably be awakened at 6:30 so I'm going to turn in now. But before I go, do you remember the first time you kissed me? My did you run. Bet after this war you don't run away. If you do I know a guy that'll catch you before you are well started.
     Good night Sweetheart, until tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

At Sea--1,200 Books

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 23 October 1944, 8:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     This has been a swell day. The sun was not particularly hot today and as a result it was cool and comfortable all day long.
     I did a little work in my office and concentrated on the library the rest of the time. I didn't realize what a job cataloguing and indexing over 1,200 books was but I know now. Here is what we are doing. First we have two cards for each book, one showing the title first the other author first. Then we have a third card to show the borrowers name and date the book is due. I will more or less have to classify all non-fiction books according to the Dewey Decimal System. It is quite a project but I believe I can do it. So much for our library.
     I've received many requests today for recreational gear and will break those out in the morning. My next few days will be busy ones but I like that because it helps the time go faster.
     How are you doing? By now you've probably learned more about me from Al and Jim than I've been able to tell you so I hope all your questions are answered.
     There is little more I can add except that I miss you more each day and doubt whether I'll ever get enough loving to make up for the time we've lost. However it'll be fun trying.
     Good night Sweet. I'm going to turn in early.
Loving you always

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Phonograph

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 22 October 1944, 9:05 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweet, did you have a pleasant Sunday? Today is the day I usually spent with my girls. Oh well, after this is all over there'll be lots of Sundays for you and me with our two girls to keep us busy.
     This has been a rather quiet day. I worked all morning and part of the afternoon. About 3 o'clock I broke out a new phonograph we got and some recordings of radio programs. We had a little trouble getting the machine hooked up but finally did. Then we tried out a few of the programs and they will be swell when radio reception isn't favorable.
     The movie this evening was a real "oldie" but quite enjoyable--Bob Hope and Betty Hutton in "Let's Face It." Although I had seen it before I got a lot of laughs out of it so it must have been good entertainment.
     What did you do today? Did you go over to Ruth's and have dinner there or is that program discontinued? I had expected to see Al today but it was impossible to reach him and I had the medical duty aboard.
     Please darling, be patient come what may. You may not get all the answers and get mail regularly but believe me I love you, always have and always will.
     For a change, this has been a cool and comfortable day. A few clouds in the sky do make a difference especially when they get in the way of the sun.
     Sweetheart do you remember how you always had to prod me to write a letter. Well dear after the war you are once again appointed official correspondent for the Steingarts.
     Good night darling and pleasant dreams. Love and kisses to you and a couple of hugs for our girls.


Friday, October 19, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Can't Write Freely

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 22 October 1944, 10:45 AM
Dearest Eleanor
     My, my, so hot and bothered about nothing. Anyway, I haven't ignored your questions, and I'm sure that by now you've read the answer you've been wanting to hear.
     Sorry, darling that Lillian knew more about my visit with Al than you did but being shore based he can write freely whereas I may not. I've told you that before but you still keep asking where did I go and what did I do. I've tried to tell you and several times the censor has had to cut items out. Please understand dear and when I get back I'll fill in the blank spaces.
     I wish you would go with Deb, Dave and Leon. What the h---, it won't hurt Leon to spend and evening with his family and it would do you a lot of good to get out.
     I'm glad you aren't spending a lot of money for Xmas gifts. I've spent plenty and you should find gifts for all. Besides I'd never expected you to spend so much on cards. However, it's done and I'll send them off if they reach me in time.
     Wish I could cut up that "darn bird." As far as that goes I wouldn't mind eating a little of your home cooked chicken.
     Last night I went to that party I mentioned earlier this week. The Captain, Ambie, Cox, Roberts, and I represented our ship. And how! The hosts were a Mr. and Mrs. MacKay. I expect to see them after the war. They have property in Los Angeles and are acquainted with Donald Douglas. They will visit the states as soon as the war is over. Anyway he asked me for our address and promised to look us up.
     The party itself was a dilly. There were 6 couples and about 10 servicemen. We consumed 8 quarts of liquor and several cases of beer. The MacKays roasted two turkeys and a leg of pork along with the trimmings. By ten o'clock, when we left, we all were feeling pretty good and have an invitation to return.
     Sweet do you remember how I rebelled against those Sunday Family dinners? Wouldn't I love to just get the kids and their gear in the back seat and with you beside me, drive over to your mother's or sisters' for a Sunday family dinner. Isn't it funny how ones attitude can change?
     Well my love, I hope you're all cooled down and everything is serene. I'd like to take you in my arms and kiss away your hurts (imaginary and true) but I can't until later. In the meantime, Sweetheart, please be patient and understand that I'm in the Navy and can't do as I please. I do love you and miss you even though I don't fill each page with sweet nothings.
     It is 11:25 and I have to freshen up for lunch. Till later my Sweet with all the love that is in my heart I am


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Sunglasses

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 20 October 1944, 10:30 PM

My Dearest Darling,
     Just came down from the movie. The picture, "Dragon Seed," was long running, over 2 1/2 hours, but it held my interest every minute of the time.
     There is little to tell since I wrote last night. I addressed twenty Xmas cards that I had purchased and have thirty more to send in addition. Today has been another day. I worked all morning and this afternoon I took inventory of the supplies in our wardroom mess.
     The mail today consisted of a letter from Al Stein while he was in the hospital and a copy of the Outlook. Dear will you notify the Outlook of my new address? This one went to Diego and was then forwarded.
     Now that most of my work is clearing up I'll go back to work on our ship's library. Just today, I received, by mail, new books for our library. The cataloguing of the books we already had is still incomplete. However, I now have two dental corpsmen, so I should make better progress.
     I'll wait till I see the morning mail before I send this letter off. Now it's time to turn in. Good night my Sweet.
Saturday 12:45 PM
     I've been running around all morning. Just finished lunch and found four letters from you. Now we'll have our little visit.
     You should have a letter from me every day. I write daily, drunk or sober. Such dreams gal, don't you know any better. Now back to Mary. If I've written once I've written three times that Mary is all wrong and I've never wanted to get away from you. I love you too much for that. So--it isn't true and you just forget it.
     I saw "Song of the Open Road." It's about teenagers and lots of music. Linda must have enjoyed it a lot. I'll file your suggestions for Xmas and see what happens. The reason I didn't tell you more about my visit with Al is because of censorship. Al is shore based and so was able to write more fully about it. No darling Leon's guess is still wrong so you can proceed to stop worrying. I'm quite safe and expect to remain so as long as I'm aboard this ship.
     Our chief pharmacist mate, who was transferred, had been aboard since January but he is regular Navy (I believe) and had twenty-eight months of sea duty consecutively running. However enlisted personnel and officers work differently. Besides he had been in the states for over a month in February or March. This can't be used as a criterion as to when I'll return. Forget Xmas cards if you haven't already attended to it. In all probabilities they wouldn't reach me on time.
     Donate as little as you can to the War Chest. I am making my contribution in a more personal fashion. This year let the others worry about it. Forget the Center completely. When I return will be time enough for our contribution.
     I bought a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses from the ship's store for $4.90. The regular price is $7.75 so that is quite a saving. Put in a claim for the pair that was lost.
     That is all for now, Sweet. Wish I could wrap up a big bundle of love for you and send it on. As it is I'm storing it up till I get back and then--Oh boy!! Bye darling till later.
Loving you as ever

Ray Ban sunglasses 
Linda remembers the lenses were green

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Butter

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
 U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 19 October 1944, 3:00 PM
My Sweet,
     This afternoon's mail brought two letters from you and one from my cousin Fay Springer. I dropped her a note after you sent on her New Year's greeting. Already having an answer is a surprise to say the least. She is a very unhappy woman as you can see from her enclosed letter.
     I got off a letter to Edith so I hope she'll take care of the watch for me. Outside of that all I've been doing all day is work, work, work.
     I am a little surprised at Deb's actions but I always told you that you were more concerned about her than she would be about you. On the other had she is probably pretty upset if Dave is really going overseas; the 15 day leave would indicate just that to me.
     Of course I want you to read the book! I guess the title is a surprise so I'll be patient till it comes. So the Corsos are at it again. My, my. Tomorrow they'll kiss and make up and get stiff again. Guess I'll have to drop my mother a note though why she should be upset about Libby is a mystery. By now they should be able to afford a home of their own. Sounds like there are a lot of changes at home. I didn't know butter was so low. Is it a lack of points, butter or both? What does Anne hear from Joe?
     I'm going to sign off now but will write more after the movie tonight. Bye my love till tonight.
10:10 PM
Hello Darling,
     Had a pretty good movie tonight, "Step Lively" with Frank Sinatra and George Murphy. A light, fast, and enjoyable musical
     This has been a nice day. This evening it was especially enjoyable, sitting out on deck with the breezes blowing, enjoying an amusing picture. Gee, it sure would have been fun to reach over and hold your hand or better yet to put my arm around you and have you rest your head on my shoulder. Ah well, nice dreaming anyway.
     Honey, do you remember many years ago the first time we went to Arrowhead? It was a beautiful starlit night and Eleanor and Gil took a walk along the lakeshore and held hands and then Gil stole a few kisses. After this war let's go back and take that walk again or shall we just turn in early. OK you talked me into it.
     Nothing more for now, Sweetheart. Goodnight and I'll see you in my dreams
Loving you always

Red ration stamps used to purchase butter.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Philippines Invaded

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francsco
Wednesday 18 October 1944, 10:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     After a busy morning, I had lunch and went on liberty. Began with a couple of beers at the Officers' Club and then took a bus down to the beach. Didn't do much. Browsed around in a couple of book stores and window shopped but really couldn't find a thing I wanted to buy. So after a couple of hours of looking, I returned to the ship and just in time for dinner.
     After dinner, Ambie, my new roommate Cox and I went over to visit a civilian couple living
They live in
similar to what we saw all over Southern California near all war production plants. The only difference is that the interior is finished much more attractively. This particular place was a studio duplex, the living and dining room and kitchen downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. They have two boys and have lived here
     We visited and hoisted a few and returned to the ship just a few moments ago with an invitation to come to a party Saturday night which I'm hoping
     No mail yet, but I'll bet I get a stack in the morning. So darling, until then, adios my Sweet and pleasant dreams.
Thursday 8:30 AM
Good Morning Sweetheart,
     Got three letters from you and one from your mother so now I've got something to work on. Was glad to read that you had gotten out and had a pleasant evening for a change. Why do you worry so much about money? Even if we run a little over our present income we can still hold out for a while. After the war I'll make up the difference, just wait and see.
     I'm not too surprised about Norma and her dancing lessons. After all she is still an infant and though I didn't want to say so, the $10.00 a month would have been just wasted. A year from now she'll still be plenty young to resume dancing.
     What happened to Dave's commission? I thought it was all set and now you tell me about he's getting ready to go overseas. Was that just another of his pipe dreams or what?
     I'm sure electric shaver will be satisfactory just hope it reaches us in a reasonable period of time. I will write to Edith this morning and see what can be done about a watch for you.
     The Pacific War is moving right along. I notice that now the Philippines have been invaded. I just caught the headline of a newspaper so I don't know any more about it as yet. However as soon as I'm through I'll read all about it.
     Honey, every day and every military action brings me closer to home. Time does drag but still it is almost three months since I reported aboard. Before you know it, my time out here will be up and I'll be on my way back.
     I must sign off now darling. Remember that I still love you always have and always will. Give my two girls a big kiss from their daddy.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor--Gifts

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 17 October 1944, 8:30 PM
My Darling,
     This has been just another day of work. Kept busy with patients all morning and afternoon. I knocked off work at 3:30 and went to my room. Spent the next hour packing up the box of gifts I'm sending on to you. Most items have price tags still on so you can tell what you wish to give to whom. After I finished wrapping the box I stowed all my gear in my locker and chest of drawers. My how time flies when one is busy. By the time I got straightened around it was 5:45 PM so I showered and changed for dinner.
     This evening I didn't go to the movies. We had the same picture that I saw at the Officers' Club last night. However I gave you the wrong title. In last night's letter I called it "Marriage by Mistake." It should have been "Bride by Mistake."
     Don't know why I'm so tired tonight. It hasn't been too hot; it has been raining most of the time. I got plenty of sleep last night. The yellow fever shot can't have taken effect so soon. My cold is almost gone. Still, I'm tired. Guess I'll turn in and read for a while before turning off the light.
     Didn't get any mail today so no quiz program unless something comes in the morning.
     Good night my "Sweet." I'll write some more in the AM.
Love and kisses
Wednesday 10:30 AM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Been rushing around all morning getting the package wrapped and took care of five patients. Didn't find any mail this morning so there'll probably be a stack this afternoon.
     Honey, do you remember the long hours I used to put in working and how provoked you would get at times? Well, Sweet, after the war you're going to find a changed husband. One who likes to come home early and spend more time with his family.
     No more news for now. I'll close with all my love to you and our girls.