Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Leyte--Nothing New

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 2 July 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling are you feeling better today? I got five letters today, one each from our mothers and the others from you. I got a little more dope on what happened to your vacation plans but the letter giving me the details is still on its way. Please don't let this change upset you too much. I hope you'll be able to work out some other trip. A visit with Doris might be nice but what about the kids? Who'll take care of them while you're away?
     I'm glad you sent on the cosmetics. I should be able to do some real sharp trading with the natives when I get the stuff.
     I hope you had a nice weekend and that you enjoyed your trip and visit with Deb and Dave. In another month or so you'll be an aunt again. What do Deb and Dave want? A boy or a girl? Or will they will take what they get and be satisfied?
     Nothing new out here. I worked on patients all morning and part of the afternoon. The rest of the time I spent on the wardroom books, censoring mail and a little more reading of "Strange Woman." At 5:15 I showered and dressed for dinner.
     It has been raining since 4:00 PM and right now it is really pouring. I hope it lets up for the movies. We have "Billie Rose's Diamond Horseshoe."
     I finally got a USO show for our ship. It is tomorrow night. It's an hour in a fast boat to pick the troupe up. Tomorrow, I'll leave to get them at 3:00 PM. We'll get back in time for chow and after eating we'll have the show and then movies as usual.
     That is thirty for tonight my sweet. So goodnight I'll see you in my dreams.
Loving you always,

USS Ocelot 

Movie screen in background

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Ulithi--Christmas 1944


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 25 December 1944, 9:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     After the movie last night, "Kismet" with Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich I went to my room and finished "Strange Fruit." There were several parties on board but with you so far away I really had nothing to celebrate. So I went to bed early and awoke without a headache which is more than most of the officers did.
     Just had juice and coffee for breakfast. This being Xmas I didn't keep any office hours. By various and devious methods I got two quarts of grain alcohol and spiked the egg nog for dinner. The drink was so good that no one knew anything was in it until afterwards. The captain and the exec had one each and still don't know it was spiked. Further, just before dinner, I called all the corpsmen and a few officers. I gave each a shot. I bought the stuff in Pearl. Is it valuable! Right on our ship a quart of whiskey sold for $36.00. I was tempted to sell the three pints I had. However I preferred using a quart as I did today and save the rest for New Year's Eve. What is money anyway? I'm enclosing the menu and it was really good. All the food was set out buffet style, and we ate all we could hold.
     Spent the afternoon resting, reading and weaving. I'm going to make identical bracelets for you and our girls. At least I started something but I won't know until I'm further along. Anyway, we'll see.
     For supper tonight we just had cold cuts of turkey and ham left over with the necessary trimmings, but who could eat? 
     After eating we had a good, old fashioned song fest. And when movie time came they just wouldn't stop singing until the captain came down to see the picture. The movie was a riot.  It was the "Dough Girls" with Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith and Jane Wynn. It is one of the most hilarious pictures we've seen and was just the thing to cap Xmas for men away from home. 
     No mail today so I have little more to add. Dear, do you remember how in past Xmas nights, the whole family came over for a drink, to view of our tree and to see our two darlings. Next year business as usual for the Steingarts.
     Dr. Bushyager got a recording from home and I can hear him playing it now. His wife and little girl (five or six) both send him love. I don't know why you had trouble sending me recordings. A package with odds and ends can be sent and no one knows the difference. One thing, pack everything well, you should see how the packages look when they arrive. Most of them are marked and many have the contents falling out.
     Good night darling, how I would love to hold you in my arms and just kiss you once. Once? Well that would be a good place to start, wouldn't it?

Xmas Dinner Menu

Autographs on Back of Menu

Friday, December 18, 2020

Leyte-Life Visits an Enchanted Isle

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O San Francisco 
Sunday, 1 July 1945, 10:45 PM 
Dearest Eleanor, 
     Today was Sunday and quite a busy one for me. I worked on patients all morning and worked on quarterly and monthly reports all afternoon. Now everything is complete except for doing the wardroom statement. When that is finished my book work with be done for another month. 
     It has been quite hot and so I stripped down to my skivvies, censored mail and read until 5:15. Then I showered and dressed for dinner. After chow we played cribbage and then to the movies. We had "Mollie and Me" with Monty Woolley and Betty Field. It was amusing. 
     After the movies we sat around in the wardroom and talked and joked until now so here I am. 
     Now that thirty days have elapsed since we left Ulithi I may mention it in my letters. The May 7 Life ran some pictures on "Life Visits an Island Paradise" and I would like a copy of the magazine as a memo of the place. Any questions you have about the place can now be answered, so fire away. 
     The mail brought me three letters postmarked 22nd and 25th. One letter made record speed out here taking five actual days in coming. Usually however it mail take seven to ten days. 
     I'm really beginning to worry about you with your gas attacks and nerves. Let's hope I can get back soon and cure your troubles. 
     The cosmetics are for trading. These items are scarce out here and will bring in exchange many times their cost in the states. No dear there are no island "beauties" here. If there were I doubt if I'd be interested. 
     Dan Graves was one of our officers. No he won't call, but as far as that goes neither have the others though they promised to. 
     A brief honeymoon when I get back sounds 4.0 but let's not decide until I arrive and see what circumstances are like then. I do want to spend as much time as possible with you and our girls--let's wait and see. 
     I'll write Libby about mother but don't you worry about it. Everything will work out OK. You know, somehow, it usually does. 
     I'm missing a couple of letters. Evidently something has happened to your Lake Arrowhead plans and I'm truly sorry. I guess I'll know more about it when the missing letters arrive. 
     Glad you got to see "Carmen Jones" and enjoyed it. I read a review of it in life some time ago. 
     The food problems certainly sound serious. Not so out here. Today we had a swell steak dinner and for dessert fresh frozen boysenberries and were they good, yum, yum. 
     That is all for now so I'll sign off with my usual thoughts of love and prayers for an early second honeymoon. 
Yours forever 

Link to photos from May 7, 1945 Life Magazine article about Ulithi 

Ulithi Children from Life Magazine Article

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Leyte--Leon's Report

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 30 June 1945, 10:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey how is my sweet? For me today was just like any other day away from you. I had my usual program of work this morning. After lunch I joined a few officers going ashore for a few drinks.
     We left at 2:00 PM and arrived some thirty minutes later. At about 3:30 it began to rain and it poured until 4:30. However I didn't mind as we had a good place to sit and drink without getting all wet (on the outside of course). At 5:00 PM we returned to the ship
     After chow I laid down in my bunk until movie time. The picture tonight was a repeat, "The Falcon in Hollywood." There were also three shorts so we had a full program. Now here I am.
     The mail today brought me three letters postmarked the 21st and 22nd of June, so here goes. You certainly don't have to remind me of Norma's birthday. I pray that I'll never miss another of hers, Linda's or yours, ever.
     Out this way there are no purses like the one I sent Linda but I'll keep an eye peeled for something she'll like as well.
     Leon's report of the large numbers of dentists bears out my argument that I'll be relieved before my eighteen months are up.
     Again, don't worry about me. I'm very careful and I'm not falling through any hatches. Forget it! As for native girls--whether I'm drunk or sober they do not appeal to me. No one does. I just want you.
     The way they are working things now, officers get orders to report immediately for oversea duty. No leaves are being given. At most any time, Leon may get orders to shove out. As short as they are of doctors in the states, they are even shorter of them out here.
     There is nothing more for now, Honey, so I'll sign off. Goodnight and pleasant dreams.
P.S. I'm returning Linda's art. I don't want to lose it.