Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ulithi--Paint Cheap

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 18 November 1944, 9:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling, here I am again. Just saw a movie I saw several years ago but I enjoyed every moment of it. The picture was the "Black Swan" with Tyrone Power, a story of Henry Morgan and the Spanish Main.
     I'm catching up on my mail now. Last night I dropped notes to Manny Stern and the Fleischers. I don't know who'll be on the program for tonight until I look at whose letters are lying around. You see I don't throw any away until they're answered.
     I didn't do any dentistry today because my office is being painted. That's one thing about the Navy. Paint is cheap and labor plentiful so as soon as any place looks the least bit bad it gets a fresh coat of paint.
     What did I do with all the time? First I took those large photos of you, covered them with blue celluloid and hung them on the bulkhead in my room. Then I took that booklet of pin-ups you sent me recently, cut those out and stuck them up too. Believe these pictures along with Linda's, Norma's, Dick's and Babs' brighten up my room considerably. Then I did a little reading, took a shower and won another buck at blackjack. After dinner I played some checkers and then to the movie. My what a busy day!
     Well I expect to be much busier next week. I'm going to work on the crew of a ship anchored nearby. These men plus those on the Ocelot will keep me busy for awhile.
     There was no mail for me today, so no answers. Good night my Sweet, I love you and wish you were near. Boy, would I like that and you would too!

Photo of Eleanor

Picture of Dick
Gil's nephew

Monday, January 28, 2019

Ulithi--Presidential Election

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 17 November 1944, 9:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello My Darling, how are you today? Since I wrote last night, I dropped notes to Deb and Dave, my mother, your mother and Ruth. After I finish this letter I'll do some more catching up. I just got two letters today, one from Deb and Dave and one from you, My Sweet.
     This morning was the same as usual. Spent most of it working. After lunch I got into a blackjack game and won six or seven dollars. I don't know how long my luck will hold out but it does help the time pass. I can't get hurt much so I'll indulge in a little gambling now and then.
     You ask how the ship's officers stood on the presidential election. Well with the exception of one or two I believe they were all for Roosevelt. Quite different from what it was in San Diego. There, most of the older men were for Dewey and the young men for Roosevelt. Anyway now that the die is cast we've had lots of good natured kidding about the future of our country and it was good for a laugh.
     As I've written before the dolls were ordered and should arrive before Xmas day. Wouldn't it be swell if I were home then? It doesn't look like there is any chance for that to happen but while there is life there is hope and nothing that happens in the Navy surprises me anymore.
     The movie tonight was "Thunderbirds," a real oldie. I'd seen it before but so long ago I couldn't remember what came next so I enjoyed it as much as the first time.
     Honey, do you remember your birthday many years ago when I gave you that ring I made for you in school? Well I may not be with you this year but beginning in 1945 and forever after we'll celebrate all birthdays together. That's all for now Sweetheart, goodnight.

Saturday, January 26, 2019


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O San Francisco
Thursday 16 November 1944, 9:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     After writing last night I went to the movie and saw a very unusual picture, "Someone to Remember." You must see it if you haven't already. After the movie I turned in and read until ten and then lights out.
     Worked this morning as usual. After lunch I went on liberty for the first time in about a week. What did I do? I drank a few beers and just wandered along the shore looking for unusual colored shells and pieces of coral. I brought back a pocket full. Maybe I'll have a collection by the time I return. There are many coconut trees here and the nuts are lying just everywhere. So I picked up one and cracked the shell and drank some of the milk and ate some of the nut meat. Some of the coconuts have been lying around so long that they have sprouted roots and green shoots are growing out of the nut itself. Wish I could tell you more about this place, but so much for now.
     Got back tired, hot, and sticky so I took a shower and read for half an hour before dinner. After eating I got into a small blackjack game and after a whole hour I won about fifty cents. There must be an easier way to make money.
     Tonight we had another good movie, "His Butler's Sister." I believe we both missed it and it really is worth seeing.
     And that's the way it is. Somehow the days go by. It is almost four months since we said goodbye but it seems like four years. How I would love to spend an evening with my Sweet and our two little darlings. Oh well, maybe it won't be so very long when we'll have more than an evening together.
     Well Honey, there is no more for now. Do you remember how I used to write you when you spent the month at Catalina? And in between letters how I wanted to telephone but you didn't have a phone. Now you do have a phone but still I can't call. Just wait until I get one I can use! After this war I'll keep the wires hot every time we get separated for even a few hours.
     Good night dear and pleasant dreams.

Gil Cutting Coconut

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Ulithi--Tokyo Rose

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O San Francisco
Wednesday 15 November 1944, 6:30 PM
Dearest Sweetheart,
     Hello honey, here I am again. After missing yesterday I got twelve letters today, one from your mother, one from Libby and the rest from you. It evidently takes about
days for an airmail letter to reach me so it you have to know something in a hurry you'll have to use your own judgment.
     I wouldn't worry about money. Where I am now there is very little to spend on. As a matter of fact I didn't draw any money on the first and none today and I still have $50 cash on me.
     I missed "Mr. Winkle Goes to War." It was shown onboard one night when I was on liberty. Last night, by the way, we had "Shadow of a Doubt" with Theresa Wright and Joseph Cotton. About half way through the showing we had a regular cloudburst and although we were all soaked to the skin we saw the picture through to the end. Tonight we have "Someone to Remember." The featured players are all unknown to me, but it has a high amusement rating so here's hoping.
     From your letters it sounds that you are finding plenty of things to do to take up your time and I'm glad. Being occupied makes the time go so much faster.
     Do I remember that "pencil?" Wait until I get back, will you be surprised! "Esquire" is still going through the mail. I don't believe it was ever actually stopped. That is one magazine I'll really enjoy receiving. By the way I did receive an Evening Outlook just the same as you sent several weeks ago so I guess they have my new address. I also received the American Dental Association Journal. I'm sure that now all my mail will soon catch up with me.
     Talking about records, they are the only dependable entertainment we have. We do get rebroadcasts of radio programs; sometimes they are good, but most of the time there is too much static. We do get "Tokyo Rose" often. To hear them we've practically lost the war. These broadcasts are meant for American consumption and it makes one wonder at the intelligence of the Japanese propaganda directors. We all listen to it just for the fun and discount all their claims about 100%. Besides the above reading, checkers and a game of cribbage make up the entertainment and recreation I indulge in now.
     Sorry you had car trouble. Yes the battery was a new one purchased when the car was painted. It had a thirty month guarantee by Western Auto. The date is stamped into the metal on the battery but I suppose it is too late now to do anything.
     It rains here almost every day but not for long--thank god. I'm getting used to the heat and until now had forgotten about it completely.
     Soon you'll receive the other package I sent. There are a few items there I know you'll like. The dolls were purchased through the Army Exchange Service and will be delivered just before Xmas. They are also going to bring you something for your birthday, but I won't say what it is.
     Well darling, I'm just about run out. I've been doing quite a bit of work and am meeting many new faces and making new acquaintances. I do believe my work is appreciated and I do treat every enlisted man and officers with as much consideration as I would if he were my patient in private practice. Believe me after some of their past experiences they do know the difference.
     I enjoyed the quotation and wish I could reciprocate with another to tell you the love I have for you in my heart. However having no references to go to I'll just say I love you more than ever before (if that is possible) and we'll make up for all we are missing now.
     Sweet, do you remember how we would start out downtown on Saturday morning with all our family to visit and shop? That's the way our family always will be--together. We'll always enjoy all our little pleasures and big ones too!
     That is all for now dearest. Goodnight and pleasant dreams many x's and hugs and exclamation points.


The Buick's red paint had oxidized, so the car was repainted green at Earl Scheib.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 13 November 1944, 6:20 PM
My Dearest,
     I feel swell now. I got eleven letters from you and one each from your mother and mine and one from Edith. I'll send Edith's on to you so you can read firsthand about the wristwatch you want.
     Sure sounds like you've had a siege with household appliances. Oh well, who cares! As long as they can be fixed, why worry? I didn't draw my last paycheck and won't draw my next either. There is no place to go and spend money except for a few drinks at the Officers' Club.
     I did buy four suits of khakis (shirts and trousers) and I believe I'll buy more and lay away my greys. That way I'll have grey uniforms complete when I return. Otherwise the pants and shirts would be worn out and the blouses new. Anyway khakis are all you see out here and some of the higher ups dislike greys and have said as much.
     Glad to hear everyone is prospering. Just means there'll be more money to spend when I return to civilian life.
     The name of the magazine we sent Sol was "Our Navy." I can't give you the address of the publisher but Harry B. has it.
     I read an interesting book by James Cain. It is really three separate books under the title "Three of a Kind." Two of the stories, one entitled "The Embezzler" and the other "Double Indemnity" were made into movies. I don't quite recall the name of the third but all three are worth reading. Now I am reading a Charlie Chan mystery, "Keeper of the Keys."
     Glad that you liked the gifts I sent. I didn't know gum was so difficult. I'll see what can be done. Sorry I look fat in the picture. I am no heavier than when I left the states. As a matter of fact I think I'm a little lighter. I'm going to check as soon as I finish this letter.
     Bill Spivak is wrong and if you'll read what I told you about Leon you'll have the real answer.
     Well Honey, I've run out of question and answers so I'm going to sign off. But first, do you remember how we enjoyed the moonlight in a speed boat up at Arrowhead. Do you remember what came next? Well I do too. Will repeat at my earliest opportunity.
     Good night Sweet. I love you and miss you more than I can say.

Here is a link to images of WWII Navy Uniforms

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 13 November 1944, 8:35 AM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Good morning, Sweet, how is my darling this morning? Saturday night after writing I saw the movie aboard, "The Rhythm of the Island," and although it was amusing I haven't seen any of the dusty beauties in their native costumes running around loose. Anyway I was amused and after the picture I turned in. This hot weather really tires one out. By 9:30 or 10:00 PM. I'm really ready to hit the sack.
     Yesterday was Sunday but unless you looked at a calendar it was just like any other day of the week. Eat and sweat, work and sweat, rest and sweat, and that goes for everyday. Then around 7:00 PM we had a real cloud burst. The rain came down in buckets so we stood under the awnings and just watched. It did seem like there would be no movie, but at 7:45 it stopped raining and the many, many twinkling stairs lit up the heavens once more. The movie was "Charter Pilot" with Lynn Bari and Lloyd Nolan. Just another picture is all I can say.
     After the movie I was tired so I read in bed until ten o'clock when all lights must go out at this place.
     Our skipper got his orders to go back to the states and our executive officer will be captain in his place. The shaver has not arrived as yet so I'm selling the captain the one I have now and will keep the new one when it arrives.
     I awoke this morning and it was raining again and it is still. But who cares! As long as it rains, the sun won't shine and that makes everything much cooler and tenable.
     Although we have been here now for several days, no mail has been received. I guess when it does come I'll get a sack full all for myself (I hope so). Anyway dear, don't worry if my mail doesn't come regularly. It's simple--a problem of transportation and distribution. I'm really well and safe.
     Goodbye for now. Love and kisses and a great big hug to you my darling and my two sweet girls.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ulithi--God Bless You

Saturday 11 November 1944
Dear Linda,
     Hello Sweetie. How are you today? I hope you've been a good girl. I'm sending you some books and I want you to share them with Norma.
     It has been a long time since I wrote you but I've been very busy and conditions were such that I couldn't write when I was through working. However, I hope you are continuing to write me and I'm expecting a letter from you real soon.
     How is your painting at school coming? I hear that you are doing quite well. Maybe you'll send me one of your finished pictures.
     That's all for now honey, good night and God bless you