Saturday, September 28, 2019


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 26 January 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     I really wasn't expecting any mail but I got two letters and a card with your lip imprint on it. All were postmarked the 19th, that's only six days to get here.
     This morning was a rather busy one for me. By 11:00 AM I had done thirteen fillings, one extraction and qualified two men for submarine duty.
     This afternoon was field day, so while Alexander was scrubbing and polishing I "crapped out" in my rack and finished reading "Forever Amber." What a gal! I suppose you are wondering why I haven't begun "Fountainhead" yet. I want to finish the books I've been reading for some time. When I get them from the library, I must read them and get them back into circulation. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is the last on my list and then I'll read my own books, "Fountainhead" and "The Apostle."
     This afternoon the mail orderly got out of line with me and I put him on report. The captain held "mast" on him and gave him fifty hours extra duty. That fellow is very arrogant and mean. He is disliked by the whole crew. I understand that after today's episode we're going to get rid of him.
     Now to your letter. I'm sorry that Norma has been acting up at night lately. I do hope it is a very temporary indisposition and that by the time you get this letter she'll be all over it.
     It doesn't look like we'll be leaving here soon, but there is still a good chance of our returning sometime between April and June. Tomorrow this may change again.
     You seem to be getting plenty of teaching now. Between our combined salaries we should come out ahead on the deal. On the first of the month I'll have $344 due me. I'll draw $44 to pay my mess bill ($30) and $14 will be pin money for the month.
     Go ahead with you Arrowhead plans. If and when we get back and you're up there I'll arrange to join you there.
     "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "To Have and Have Not" are both worth seeing. Tonight we have "Princess and Pirate" with Bob Hope. Having a flag aboard does help us get better pictures and other comforts as well.
     Don't be afraid of your letters being dull or too long. Every word in them is precious. Believe me without mail I'd go nuts out here.
     Glad you liked the necklaces. There are numerous varieties shells and your necklace will be of a different variety (when I get a long enough chain.). I'm going to make a charm bracelet with a variety of shells and send it on right away. I'll see what I can do with the other chains you sent.
     Yes Ambie is the guy who lost his appendix. He is an engineer, about 31 or 32 years old and a lieutenant. He is addressed as Mr. Hansen, not lieutenant.
     I couldn't explain about "Philippine Victories" but nevertheless that is the case. I'm going to sign off darling with remember the night of July 25, 1934 at the Roosevelt Hotel? How about having our second honeymoon there? OK it's a date.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Ulithi--Upper Bunk

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 25 January 1945, 10:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Sweetheart, I hit the jackpot again today, eighteen letters all at once. They were all from you Sweet, except for one from your mother and mine and a thank note from one of my patients with thanks for the Xmas card. Your mail was marked, 11, 12, 14, 16, and 18 of January. I still don't know whether that package you got, but didn't open because the kids were still awake, was the one with the books. Guess there are still some letters written on the 13th or 14th I haven't gotten, maybe tomorrow.
     Today was a busy day. I worked all morning and this afternoon too, until 3:15 PM. Then I went to my room and read from "Forever Amber" for awhile. Censored some mail, showered and dressed for dinner. After dinner we stood around on deck and talked. Then I wrote a letter to the "Fearless Five." By then it was time for the movies so I went. We had "And Now Tomorrow" with Allan Ladd and Loretta Young and here I am.
     Now to your mail. Sounds like Marty will put over that Center. There should be plenty of money around and he'll get it.
     I'm really happy to hear that you are getting out and having a little fun. That makes everything much easier to bear.
     Well dear the scuttlebutt is not so good now. This time it's June but I do hope that it's wrong. Anyway I'm still hopeful.
     Spanish mackerel is a good eating fish and someday I'll take you and our girls fishing. 
     That was a sweet card you sent me on my birthday dear and I miss you too.
     It is funny about Hy Kaplan and yet in the mail today I got a V-mail dated September 8 from my mother. It was written for her by Norma Clark and properly addressed. However the address was crossed out and indications of numerous searches of the file are recorded on the envelope. Here's hoping for the best.
     Looks like your teaching is holding up OK. After all two or three times a week is enough time for you to put in. That gives you plenty of time to shop, take care of the house, and still not be too tired to go out for an evening.
     Alexander is not the same corpsman I had in San Diego. It's just a coincidence of similar names.
     The chains you sent are both too short and too heavy for a necklaces. If you can find longer ones send them on. I'll work out the heavy part. Soon you should have the two necklaces that I made for the kids and you'll see what I mean.
     Yes dear, our food is always as good as the menus indicate. As a matter of fact the Ocelot has the reputation of being the best eating ship in this area and that covers a lot of water.
     The upper bunk in my room is empty now. The new ensign moved into recently vacated quarters with two other officers. Orders are still expected for two or three officers within the next thirty days.
     The pineapple story is interesting and new to me. The Dole plant was very interesting. I thought the censors cut my recount out of my letter to you. Yes dear, we have a date to go back to Hawaii on our fifteenth anniversary.
     By the way, in the next package you send, throw in a few dime store earrings. Have them heavy enough to hold a shell. You'll be able to tell the size when you get the necklaces I sent on.
     Saw "Summer Storm" some time ago. I enjoyed it a lot. You mention something about Belle Hirsch's sister going to the dentist but I couldn't make out your writing.
     If the phone calls persist you might report it to the police. It may be some youngster or it could be some guy calling Betty and hanging up when you answer. But one can never tell.
     That sailor boy made a lot of guesses but he is way off the track. Don't you worry about me Honey.
     Darling some of my "remembers" seem so far away and long ago. Do you remember when I took on the Professional Bureau and you were provoked at my spending the $50 plus $17.50 per month? After this is over I'll go back and pay them twice that fee if necessary and I bet you'll be their biggest rooter.
     I'm really all washed up now Sweet, so good night and pleasant dreams.


Norma Clark with Sam Kahn in front of his store on the Ocean Front in Venice, California 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Ulithi--Flying 3600 Miles to Cover 150

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Wednesday 24 January 1945, 9:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello darling, how are you tonight?. I'm swell but I miss you terribly and there is nothing either of us can do about it.
     Today began as usual with work. And after sweating all morning I decided it was time for a little recreation so I joined a few of the officers who were going ashore. We had a few beers and spent most of the afternoon hunting shells. My collection has many variety, sizes, shapes and colors of shells. We returned to the ship at 5:00 PM.
     Our new engineering officer reported aboard this afternoon and seems to be a nice chap. He got a tough break though. His last duty was about 150 miles from here. However he flew from there back to Pearl and then back here. Flying about 3600 miles just to cover 150 miles is going some isn't it?
     We just closed a deal to buy 350 cases of coca cola for the officers mess and will pick them up tomorrow. Including cases and bottles they'll cost us .053 cents per bottle and that is dirt cheap.
     The mail man only brought me a birthday card from my mother this morning but when I got back from the island I found a most welcome letter from you. It was dated the 14th but from what you say I guess there are ones from the 13th and 14th still due. You see the last letter of the 13th mentioned a package you received from me but didn't open because you wanted to get the kids to bed. No further mention is made in today's letter so there must be one or two in between. I'll receive them one of these days.
     The movie tonight consisted of 5 shorts and a Bing Crosby picture entitled "My Girl Like Music" but it was just fair.
     Now to your letter. You seem to be seeing movies the same time we are. Just the other night we had "Bowery to Broadway" just the other night. A funny thing I remarked at the end of the show that what was lacking was color. All great (?) minds run in the same channels.
     So Ruth broke down and called you. Well I guess she took to heart the letter I wrote her before she went East. Well, we'll see later if she really meant it.
     It didn't take Mary and Willie to get over their spat. After all these years, she should be used to her trouble.
     I know you miss me Sweet because I know how I feel. Just the same I tickled pink that you are all dated up. I do hope you get lots of pleasure out of your outings.
     Darling, do you remember the night you kissed me for the first time? We were parked in the alley and you gave me a peck and ran like h---. Bet you were afraid I'd rape you. Well you'll never be able to run fast enough when I get back.
     No more for now honey so good night and dream about me. I'm going to do the same about you.

U.S.S. Ocelot

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Ulithi--Forever Amber

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 23 January 1945, 10:10 PM
Dearest Darling,
     Just got back from the movies. We had a double feature, "Mark of the Whistler" with Richard Dix and "Reckless Age" with Gloria Jean. Both were good and I'd seen neither of them before.
     Today was just another day. I examined ten men this morning and then worked on patients until 11:30 AM. Had luncheon and then read some more of "Forever Amber" by Winsor. If you haven't already done so, read it. Although she is quite mercenary, we could sure use that gal out here.
     Kept busy most of the afternoon but God knows what I did. I know I sent off a couple of messages to nearby ships relative to dental appointments, looked up some data in the Manual of the Bureau of Medicine, and censored some mail. But still where the whole afternoon went I don't know.
     Anyhoo! I showered and read some more from 4:30 to 5:30 PM when I dressed for dinner. After chow we stood around on deck and enjoyed a refreshing, cool breeze until sundown. Read some more professional literature in my office until movie time and two hours later here I am.
     No mail, nothing today. Maybe tomorrow. I hope! Is my mail coming more regularly now? I do hope so.
     Sweet do you remember the time we drove to San Francisco for Libby's wedding and came home all in one weekend? Gosh was I sleepy and tired. No good for anything. Oh well when I get back our trips will be short with plenty of time in between (take it anyway you like).
     That is all for now Honey. Good night and pleasant dreams.
Your impatient lover,

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Ulithi--Like a Woman

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 22 January 1945, 9:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got back from another 4.0 movie. We had "From the Bowery to Broadway" a musical with Maria Montez, Jack Oakie and several other stars. See it, it's entertaining.
     The mailman was good to me today and brought me nine letters. There were six from you, a letter from Deb and two birthday cards--one from Libby and Nat and one from Loretta.
     Now to your letters. They're postmarked the 7th, 9th and 12th which still leaves the 11th and 12th to come plus whatever comes after the 13th. Packages are still coming through so here's hoping I get mine soon.
     First darling, don't get your heart set on my being home in three months. You know the Navy changes its mind just like a woman. My chances still look good but still there is always the possibility that____. Also if we did return in three months it would take somewheres between twenty days and a month's sailing time to get back to civilization. So be patient and hope for the best, but please don't work yourself up into what could turn out as a big disappointment.
     Glad Dave made corporal but Deb writes he's in the "line" which means he is due for overseas duty and that aint good. I don't know what instructions Dave can give Sol. For the amount of time Sol has been in he has progressed further than Dave. I bet he comes out of this war with the higher rate.
     Don't feel badly about my not hearing from you daily. I still hold the record amongst the officers for the most mail and when I do get any it is always a stack.
     I don't know what more to say about Arrowhead except wait and see.
     The Willie, Wally,and Mary story is interesting but it isn't new except that now that Mary caught up with Willie the cat is out of the bag so the cat (Willie) may as well play. What surprises me is that his health stands up to it all.
     Yes dear by the time I get home it should be Lieutenant without the j.g. I hardly know what to ask for as a gift from Libby. "Coronet" would be nice but it really doesn't matter.
     I'm glad to hear about Abe Weinberg. He is a bright chap and should go far in the Navy and out. Right now they are crying for men in certain fields for additional training. Many men are really getting terrific training at no expense to themselves and it will stand them in good stead after the war. There is just one catch. I doubt very much whether these fellows who are getting all this training will be released. It is my guess that they will be kept on for many years.
     Enjoyed your report on the installation. Next year we have a date to attend it together.
     The Arnerichs, Paul and Vincent are brothers. One graduated in '31 and one in '32. They are both in the Navy one being stationed at the hospital in San Diego and the other out here.
     Don't stop sending packages or mail. Goodness gal. That was scuttlebutt and it depends entirely on the progress of certain military campaigns. Besides if we return, mail will always go to our next port and held there until we arrive. So, take it easy and keep those panties on. I'll take them of personal-like when I get there.
     No more for now so good night my Sweet and pleasant dreams.
Loving you always,

Dave--Gil's brother-in law

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Ulithi--Ship's Company

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 21 January 1945, 10:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling just got back from another good movie. We had "To Have and to Have Not" with Humphrey Bogart and it was 4.0, see it.
     This being Sunday I began work as usual and wasn't through until 11:15. I'm reading an interesting book, "Forever Amber," with a background of the England of Charles II. This gal Amber evidently had what it takes but I'm wondering how she can continue to dish it out for more than 900 pages. I'll read and find out.
     After lunch I read some more and then finished assignment #5 of my course. Now I'll get one of the boys to type it up and send it in.
     Got my copy of the ship's company photo and though I took a lousy picture I'm going to send it on.
     It seems that officers must take a physical exam every year so after dinner the doctor gave me the once over and found I was still qualified for sea duty. No survey yet.
     The mailman came twice today but passed me up both times. I hope he does better by me tomorrow.
     Nothing new or different to tell you except it was a little cooler today, not a hair over 85 degrees. The sea has been quite choppy the past few days. There must be a pretty good storm blowing at sea.
     Darling, do you remember when Linda was just beginning to talk? What a bang she got when I honked the horn in the tunnel on the coast highway? How about Norma? Does she like that too?
     I'm getting sleepy dear so I'll sign off. Good night Sweetheart, till we meet tomorrow.

USS Ocelot Crew
First two rows are officers.
The other rows are enlisted men.
Gil is in front row on right end

Monday, September 9, 2019

Ulithi--Black Outs

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 20 January 1945, 9:50 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got back from the movie. It was the sweetest love story and just made me think of us. The title, "The Very Thought of You." You must see it. I don't believe I mentioned yesterday's movie in my last letter. It was "San Fernando Valley," just amusing but nothing exciting.
     Well Sweet today began as usual with work. However at 10:00 AM we had Captain's Inspection so we knocked off work at 9:30 AM. By the time inspection was over it was 11:00 AM and too late for more work
     After lunch a recreation party went ashore so I joined them for a few beers and a little relaxation. I found some more shells and have quite a variety now. It was quite rough coming back and I got soaked to the skin. However after a shower and change of clothes I was ready for dinner.
     After dinner I censored some mail and accepted a challenge by the baseball team of another ship for a game Monday. The ship that the chaplains came over from on Sunday has left, so I had some last minute messages to send to arrange for our men to attend divine services tomorrow. By the time all the details were arranged it was 8:00 PM and time for movies.
     After the show I came down to my office for our nightly visit and surprise, two letters from my Sweet postmarked January 13th. I'm' still looking for mail of the 5th, 7th, 9th, 10, 11th and 12th. Guess they'll all come in a day or two.
     Now to your letters. You sound much happier and that makes me that way too. I don't understand Leon's wish for a hospital ship that is safe and not blacked out. I don't trust the Japs and evidently neither do the authorities out here. I've seen hospital ships in and out of this anchorage. They black out along with other ships. However from the stand point of a medical or dental officer I guess a hospital ship is the most desirable type of sea duty.
     Find out Vic Spitzer's address and also what outfit he is in. I might be seeing him one of these days.
     No dear the Ocelot is in no need of repairs. The scuttlebutt persists although as I mentioned a couple of days ago it may be a month longer than I first thought. However, relax; if we ever head east I'll let you know in ample time.
     Will look for those chains. You should be receiving the necklaces I made for the kids soon. I do hope you like them and don't forget the link on the clasp of one chain is temporary. Have Marty put a good link in.
     You're getting to be quite a regular "school marm" with all the teaching you're getting. I'm glad because I know keeping busy makes the time go much faster.
     I'm glad you found your earring. I had a very difficult time locating it and with Xmas gone it would be difficult to replace.
     What about the native girls? All the inhabitants have been removed to another island which is out of bounds to service personnel.
     I don't think Ruth should feel terrible about Dick. Discipline and active living will do him more good than all the money he could make. He'll learn to appreciate all that he now takes for granted, believe me I know.
     Sorry to hear about all the trouble your relatives in the east are having. We never seem to appreciate good health until it's gone.
     Darling, do you remember Sunday afternoons on the beach in Venice after the rest of the family went in to shower? Somehow the movie tonight reminded me of those happy days.
     Good night Sweetheart. I'll close now but I'll see you in my dreams.

Beer Drinking
Mog Mog Recreation Island, Ulithi

Gil standing on the left

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ulithi--News Bulletins

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 19 January 1945, 6:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling, here I am about to whisper a bunch of sweet nothings in your ear. I didn't get any mail but I can still say I love you.
     Today was just another routine day though my dental duties will be fuller from now on (thank God). I'd just as soon do dentistry as mess around with other travails.
     Put in ten fillings, extracted two teeth and examined fifteen men. It was 11:30 by the time I was through so I had time to freshen up before lunch.
     This afternoon I worked for a couple of hours on my correspondence course. Then I censored some mail, showered and by the time I dressed it was time to eat dinner. My how the day goes by!
     The past few days, the news bulletins coming in have been most encouraging. So much depends on how things go now that I can hardly wait for our daily newspaper.
     Sweet do you remember the first time you and I went to Catalina? I was a dental student and you were my best gal. Doesn't it seem years and years ago? At that quite a few years have gone by since then but I don't feel any older and if I were home I'd prove it.
     No more for now dear so I'll sign off by saying good night Sweetheart.

Gilbert Steingart
Dental Officer USS Ocelot