Monday, April 26, 2021

Leyte--Nips Accept Peace Terms

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 14 August 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another hot day with plenty of work to make it hotter. I worked all morning. This afternoon I took things easy. The war is still on. At 3:00 PM we heard that Japanese Domei News said the Nips will accept the peace terms of the allies. Maybe tonight we'll get official confirmation. We've had so many false rumors that I don't even get excited anymore.
     I don't know how the peace will affect my coming home. Reliefs may be sent out as before or they may be slowed down. Anyway, I would be surprised if we were to wind up in Japan proper before I return home. Of course there are a lot of "ifs" about the whole deal, but I can't discuss it now.
     No mail again today so tomorrow should bring a whole sack full. Tonight's movie is "Swingin' on a Rainbow" with several unknowns. Hope it's good.
     It is hard to believe that the war is practically over and soon I and many, many others will be returning to wives and sweethearts to begin life where they left off when they donned the uniform. Just think dear, it's quite possible that when I return I might even be released without any additional duty in the states. Dare we hope for such luck? Anyway, we know we'll be together forever without any reservations.
     That is all for now my love. I'll see you in my dreams. Goodnight, my Sweet, until tomorrow.

I love you as ever,

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Leyte--Pray VJ Day Is Here

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday August 12, 1945, 11:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Darling here is your tourist hubby again. Today being Sunday I loafed around all morning. At 11:15 I went to my room to read. I had just sat down when in walked "Bud" Schurr, Sara's brother. Now last night's mystery is solved.
     I had arranged to go ashore with a commander. He was to pick me up after lunch so we took Bud along. We covered as many miles as I had on Friday and even had time to stop at one of the clubs for a few drinks. Bud had flown in from Manila and is on his was to New Guinea. If the war ends, he'll probably fly back to Manila instead of going to New Guinea.
     We did a lot of talking and reminiscing. The terrain around here is never changing. Thick swamps and jungles are alongside the dirty, rough roads. In every clearing there are native shacks with natives of course.
     We got back to town at 6:15, dropped Bud off, got our boat and returned to the Ocelot. It has been more than ten years since I last saw Bud. If I hadn't had the message from him yesterday I wouldn't have recognized him. He is much older looking and has put on weight (as have others you know). However he does look well in spite of his three years out here.
     I got aboard at 7:30. The stewart fixed me a turkey plate with ice cream for dessert. Then to the movies. We had "Affairs of Susan" with Joan Fontaine. It was a most enjoyable comedy.
     By the way, the book "Generation of Vipers" has several good chapters in it. Although it's non-fiction you'd enjoy parts of it.
     The mail brought a lone letter from your mother, so I have nothing more to say tonight.

Goodnight, my love, until tomorrow.
Yours forever,
P.S. Now that we have submitted a counter proposal to Japan, the war should be over tomorrow. I pray VJ Day is really here so that I may be home soon with you, my sweet.

Scenes from Leyte



Animal Life

Leyte--The Peace That Isn't

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday, 11 August 1945, 12:10 AM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Here is your night owl husband again. Last night's news hopped me up so much that it was 2:00 AM before I fell asleep and I awoke at 6:45 AM. I worked this morning and the let down about the peace, that isn't yet, was very evident all over the ship.
     This afternoon I dozed for an hour and at 4:00 PM. I got a message from a Captain Schurr asking me to meet him at the landing in town. I immediately sent him a message and arranged to be there at 7:30 PM. I went over in a picket boat. No Captain Schurr. I checked with the communications office and found my message hadn't been received yet and that Schurr is an Army captain. I can't place him unless he is related to Silvia and Sara. Anyway I left without seeing him. No sooner had we gotten out of the inner harbor that a storm hit. So we turned back and waited over an hour for it to abate. Though it was still quite rough and raining at 10:45 PM, we got underway again and got back without any mishap. All I can show for the trip is two hours of lost sleep.
     We had a real treat for dinner tonight. Fresh cantaloupe and ice cream. It was good. Yum, yum.
     I got two letters from my Sweet today so here goes. Yes the sub base had some wonderful things, but so expensive. All stateside stuff that could be bought for less money at home. I feel badly about your attitude concerning our anniversary. I didn't forget and really the amount of time I put in plenty of time on the lapel gadget. Had I sent you $100, you'd have blown it, no doubt. Money doesn't grow on trees. No, not even on lieutenant's trees.
     About the cake, I just happened to mention that on the 25th I'd be married eleven years. The baker overheard it. So without a word to anyone he baked a cake and left it for me in my office. It served eighty men, so it wasn't small.
     No more for now Darling, I can hardly keep my eyes open. Goodnight with love and kisses.

Yours forever,

Monday, April 19, 2021

Leyte--Corroboration of Victory

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 10 August 1945. 12:40 A.M.
(Really Saturday morning)
My Dearest,
     The wonderful news that the war is over came over the air about nine o'clock this evening. Although officially the war is still on and they are still fighting I pray that corroboration of victory will be made by morning.
     I worked all morning and after lunch the skipper, another officer and I got a boat and headed for town. There we picked up a jeep and really saw the island. We covered over ninety miles by land and about twenty-five by sea and didn't get back to the ship until 11:45 PM in a pouring rain. However there was ample shelter on the boat and we didn't get very wet.
     It was while we were drinking beer at a club ashore that the news came over the radio and pandemonium broke out in the club. The harbor was suddenly lit up like a Xmas tree. There were tremendous numbers of red, green and white lights plus long fingers of searchlights reaching out and illuminating the heavens. Sirens and boat whistles were blowing and rockets and flares rose to add to the illumination of the skies.
     We got into our jeep and headed back to our boat which was docked a mere twenty miles away. The roads were jam packed with servicemen and civilians. Horns were blowing, engines were roaring and cries of victory pervaded the atmosphere. By the time we reached town there were plenty of drunks on the street. Tomorrow there will be many big, aching, heads. Still, in spite of all the excitement I can just imagine how people back home celebrated. There was I'm sure, plenty of everything I described plus many an aching hearts and tears as well. Such is VJ day. I really fear for world civilization if another conflict should occur in years to come.
     There is plenty of speculation aboard as to what happens now and when we will go home. No one knows now but certainly in a few days policies will be adopted. Then we'll know better where we all stand.
     No mail today except for the August Esquire, so I have very little to add. Goodnight Sweetheart, I'll see you in my dreams (if I can sleep -- too excited.). I guess I'll read a little first. I began a book by Phillip Wylie entitled "Generation of Vipers." It is a critique on the American way of life. Though it sounds like heavy reading I'm finding it quite interesting and easy to read.
     Again my darling goodnight and pleasant dreams that will soon come true. Kiss our girls for me. Tell them their daddy loves them and you too and misses you all so much.


Victory Celebration pictures at Service Squadron Ten Anchorage, Leyte Gulf. The U.S.S. Ocelot was the flagship for the squadron. Note the proviso "This picture is not mailable under existing censorship regulations. Printed aboard U.S.S. AJAX"

Pictures Taken From the USS Ocelot in Leyte Gulf on August 10

Leyte--Second Atomic Bomb

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 9 August 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Still hot and I'm still sweating. It looks like rain tonight; I sure hope it does rain. The war news is very encouraging with Russia being in it and the second Jap city already hit by the new "atomic bomb." Imagine the possibilities if such energy could be harnessed for useful purposes.
     Had quite a busy morning. This afternoon I took a few pictures and then had my mess statement audited.
     I've been offered the use of a jeep for tomorrow afternoon. So the skipper and I are going ashore after lunch to do some sightseeing.
     I had a haircut this afternoon and then after showering and censoring mail, I finished "China to Me."
     In the mail today I got three letters from my Sweet. It seems that you and I are seeing the same movies now. I missed a good one when I went ashore yesterday, but I'll probably catch it later. It was "Incendiary Blonde."
     Glad to hear you Lake Arrowhead plans are shaping up okay and I hope you have a swell stay there.
     Sweetheart, I wouldn't disappoint you for the world. I do hope to be home by fall but you know I don't write orders, I just comply with them. Maybe the war will suddenly end and the ship will return to the states even before that date. Who knows?
     Tonight's movie is the "Chicago Kids." Enough said. Goodnight Sweetheart until tomorrow.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Leyte--New Atomic Bomb

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 8 August 1945, 4:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Had a busy day but didn't do a lick of dentistry. To attend to some recreation matters, I took the picket boat into town this morning. It was 11:30 before I got back. Washed up and had chow.
     After lunch there was a meeting of all division officers in the captain's cabin. Then I went to work and finished the wardroom statement.
     The mail brought me four letters and the cutting head for my Schick. Now I'll be okay till the other shaver arrives. Three of the letters were from you Sweet and the other was Deb and Dave's baby announcement.
     You are continuously complaining about Betty's inefficiency. Can she really be trusted with the girls? I often wonder about that.
     I'll go to work on the lockets. I think I can work something out for the whole family.
     I do hope Jimmy is right too. If his experience has been the same a mine as to dental officers going back early maybe it is becoming a general policy with the bureau. Anyway with the new atomic bomb and all, maybe the Japs will give up in a few days and we'll all be coming home. What a wonderful thought.
     I'm saving the $100. I really want to be there when you buy your fur coat and maybe I'll have enough saved by the time I get back to be able to pay for it in full.
     The reason I'm writing early is because I'm going over to the club with a group of officers this evening. We don't drink much but we have a lot of fun singing and talking and telling stories. Tsk, tsk.
     No more for now Darling so I'll sign off. Goodnight and pleasant dreams.


Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Town Scenes--Leyte

Leyte--High Powered

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 7 August 1945, 7:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello my Sweet here is your hubby, just a wee bit tight. I worked all morning as usual. But this afternoon I got lazy and went over to the club with several others. We got back just in time for dinner and now here I am.
     I got two letters today, one from you and the other from my mother. Your letter was of the 20th; yesterday's was of the 30th so there isn't anything worth rehashing. I've already done it before.
     We had another officer report in today which makes three new ones in two days. Hope they keep it up and get to me real soon.
     Have you sent the gold braid yet? You never know what'll happen. If you haven't done so, take care of it right away.
     Tonight's movie is another stinkeroo called "High Powered" with god knows who. That is all the news for now so I'll sign off.
     Goodnight Sweetheart, I'll see you in my dreams.

Your lover,

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Leyte--Piano Tuner

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 6 August 1945, 10:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day, another dollar or so the saying goes. About 11:30 last night the medical officer we've been looking for arrived and this morning Cox's relief also showed up. Now Dr. Bushyager and Dr. Law are waiting to see who moves. Bushyager hopes he'll go back to the states as he has eighteen months out. It won't make any difference to Law. If he leaves here he'll get another assignment out here. Well, we'll wait and see.
     I worked all morning as usual and this afternoon. I took a picket boat for a run into town to see about a USO show. I've got one scheduled for Friday night provided I can find a piano tuner in the meantime. I've got a line on a couple but I won't know definitely until tomorrow.
     I got back to the ship at 4:30, reported to the captain and retired to my room. Took a shower and then censored mail and read until time for dinner. After chow we played cribbage until movies and now here I am.
     I got two letters, a copy of the Outlook and some Navy literature. So the visitors were uninteresting? I'm sorry they had to spoil an evening for you.
     My mother's report about Nat's office is surprising. Now is the time to make money and it can't be done under a set-up such as his. Somehow I can't feel about things as Jimmie does. Maybe I'll feel different when I'm closer to the activities. I feel I'm doing an important and necessary job and though our separation has been a long one we'll make up for it later and in many ways.
     Of course Ruth wants Leon to be there for Harry's 50th. However if she's going to make such a fuss about it how can she ask everyone to go Dutch. What's the matter? Did Harry lose a couple of thousand in the market? Gosh she's tight.
     Yes dear we got the dope on the plane crash into the Empire State. As a matter of fact we have a very complete newspaper that comes out every night.
     Tonight's movie was old and lousy. "Barbary Coast" with Edward G. Robinson, Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea.
     That is thirty for tonight so I'll sign off. Pleasant dreams my Darling.


Time Magazine article about Ulithi dated August 6, 1945. The USS Ocelot was in Ulithi from November 3, 1944 until May 24, 1945.Commodore Carter, mentioned in The Three Bs was aboard the USS Ocelot.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Leyte--Pom-Pom and Tuba

Kay Kaine is mentioned.  My dad probably meant Kay Kyser.

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 5 August 1945, 7:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Today is Sunday. As I've written previously, I am not taking any appointments on this day. So I have a whole day off. Well almost.
     Our baseball league competition began today so we took four teams over to the beach and ran two games simultaneously. After the game we served beer all around. We left the ship at 8:30 and got back at 11:30 just in time to wash and eat lunch.
     After lunch I settled the wardroom commissary bill. Then I worked up a rough draft of the mess statement. I read from "China to Me" until it was time to shower and dress for dinner.
     Chow this evening was excellent. We had chicken noodle soup, fruit salad, roast chicken with dressing, giblet gravy, peas and spuds (which are shipped). For dessert we had cookies and black walnut ice cream (I had two dishes). Then we played cribbage and here I am.
     Kay Kaines is out here and put on a shows last night and tonight. I was too tired to go last night and two lazy tonight. We sent a party of 150 men last night. They all enjoyed it except for five men who wandered off and got some "pom-pom" (guess what) for $10.00 and then drank some native brew called "tuba." When they got back to the ship they had to be carried aboard and have their stomachs pumped. Bet they never drink that stuff again. As to the pom-pom, prophylactic treatment was given. Although they'll undoubtedly get by, there is a terrific amount of venereal disease among the natives.
     I got two letters today. One from my Sweet and one from Libby. From the way Libby writes Nat's illness is serious. I do hope she is wrong.
     Today's letter was marked the 30th. Now I'm missing the 27th and 29th. I see you are still worrying about your weight. With all the running around and work you've be doing there shouldn't be any reason for dieting, unless of course you are stuffing yourself with candy. Are you?
     For tonight the movie is "Thrill of a Romance" and is supposed to be good. That is all for tonight so bye until tomorrow.


Another reference to pom pom on the 4th of July wardroom menu

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Leyte--England Socialistic?

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 4 August 1945, 11:20 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just another busy day for me dear. How was it for you? The same I hope. I was busy all morning with patients. This afternoon I took the liberty party ashore. Just as I prophesied yesterday. When we were ready to return to the ship it began to rain and we were all thoroughly soaked by the time we arrived. The rain cooled everything off considerably. I was going to change clothes after my shower anyway so no harm done.
     After chow we played our game of cribbage and then to the movies. Tonight we had "Earl Carroll Vanities" but it could have been a much better movie. Then to the wardroom to read the news (tomorrow's) and now here I am.
     The mail brought me a letter from you and one from your mother. I also got the box of cosmetics you sent. So now I'll see what kind of a horse trader I'd make.
     I took a few snaps on the beach today and will take some more tomorrow. I'm using Tom Glass' camera. So I'll have to use the film up in a hurry because he'll be leaving in a few days. I've found out why you haven't been hearing from any of the men who went back recently. The Navy has adopted a new policy of sending a man on to his home on leave the day he arrives in Frisco. So they really haven't had time to make any phone calls.
     Your letter was a short one. I guess there is an earlier one I'll get tomorrow. I am curious about the visitor from the East. I suppose I'll read more about it in a day or two.
     The perfume on the kiss you sent me has even permeated the paper I'm writing on. Its sweet aroma is very pleasing to "feminine aroma" starved nostrils.
     Has England gone out and out socialistic? I read of the change in Britain but nothing more has appeared in our news.
     Well in a day or two I hope you'll be on your way to Lake Arrowhead. I know you and the kids will enjoy the change.
     No more for now Sweet and so I'll say goodnight.

Loving you always,

From The Guardian