Sunday, January 30, 2022

Okinawa--"K" Ration

 23 October 1945

Dear Linda and Norma,
     Here is your daddy again. I am still in Okinawa waiting for orders to return home.
     The food here is not very good. We get lots of "K" or "C" rations and in the "K" ration I found a few things that I did like. I am sending you some soup, orange juice and some coffee for Mother. When you have dinner I want you to have them and think about me. 
I'm thinking about you all the time and looking forward to the day when we are all together again.
     No more for now my darlings. Be good and nice mother's helpers. God bless you both.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022


 Wednesday 23 October 1945, 10:00 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     I was OD today so I had to hang around all day. In the morning, after mustering the men, we walked over to the photo lab at the CB Camp and arranged to have some film developed. Maybe I'll have some interesting pictures to send home in a few days.
     Then I read for awhile and soon it was time for lunch. At 1:00 P.M. I mustered the men again and then some more loafing around. After dinner we went to the movies and saw "Jesse James."
     When we got back from the show I found four letters from you and one from Libby. Your letters are dated 6, 8, 10, and 11 October. About office space--don't obligate yourself for anything. There will be enough time to arrange things when I get home. Why? Because I'll have at least two months to work things out, I don't want to rush into anything.
     Read the interesting article and am looking forward to when we'll be together again. In the meantime I'm returning the article to you.
     Still, your estimate of December 9 for my homecoming should hold good. This sitting around and doing nothing is driving me nuts but I'll try to make the best of it. In the meantime I'm hoping the gold braid will get off their asses and survey the Ocelot. Then she can be decommissioned in short order and we'll be able to move on.
     As for Xmas gifts, I personally won't be able to bring anything with me. The few things I had I lost. I hope we won't stop over anyplace long enough to do any shopping. Anyway we'll know in enough time if I'll be able to help you with your shopping. Even if I don't leave here until 15 November, I should still be home by 9 December.
     Received the clipping from the Outlook. All the officers got a big bang out of it. However it was cut up so that it gave all a laugh.
     Again dear, don't do anything at all about an office till I get home. Glad you dropped the new car idea. We'll have lots of time and fun arranging and planning my new office.
     In the meantime Sweet, good night and pleasant dreams.


Was this the clipping from the Outlook?

Okinawa--Wrecked Post Office

  Monday, 22 October 1945, 9:30 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Spent another lazy day in camp. An officer with another group of survivors had a tooth ache so I took him over to the CB dental dispensary and filled two teeth. The rest of the day was spent just loafing, reading, playing cribbage and generally killing time.
     My claim for lost personal gear and uniforms went in this morning. I estimated my loss at $495. I'll be surprised if they allow me even $400. However with my prospects of being out of the Navy before the year is out, I'll need to spend very little of the money on clothing or other personal gear. I bought a $17.50 Remington Electric shaver for $10.50 from the ship's store. Both my watches are gone so I'm looking for a watch too. They are as scarce as hen's teeth out here, but maybe I'll connect with something.
     After dinner (Spam again) I went to the movies and saw "Valley of Decision" for the second time and now here I am.
     I got two letters of the 5th from you and one from your mother. Little by little the sacks of mail in the wrecked post office are being salvaged and being delivered. The story of the storm is slightly mixed up. However the general idea is there. This last one was much worse but things happened so fast that it takes the stories of several men put together to get any continuity on what happened. Someday soon I'll tell you all about it.
     The mosquitoes on the island have taken quite a liking to me. I have several beautiful bites. It has been raining on and off. The rainfall for this month has reached a total of eleven and a fraction inches. Normal is about three inches. That makes an excess of 7.8 inches for the month. No wonder this place is so muddy.
     That is the story for today Sweetheart. The ship is slowly being stripped but still no news as to when we will head back. Goodnight Darling and pleasant dreams.


Wrecked Post Office

Slightly mixed up story of the first typhoon. From the Santa Monica Evening Outlook

Sunday, January 23, 2022


 Sunday 21 October 1945, 8:45 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Had a busy morning. At 8:00 AM we took the jeep and drove down to the ship. It's a thirty mile run. The road was muddy and slick so it took a good hour to make the trip. We got to the ship a little after twelve, but not too late for chow.
     I left my clothing claim and expect it to be approved in a couple of days.
     Talking about food, it is pretty poor at advanced bases. Okinawa is no exception. Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are quite rare. Everything eaten is canned, even the butter. Now I know why soldiers and marines don't like Spam. Getting it for breakfast, lunch and dinner day in and day out isn't anything to rave about. Still it is better than going hungry.
     This afternoon I just loafed around, showered and went up for chow. Then to the movies. Saw "Don Juan Guiligan" for the second time but laughed at it again. That is all for tonight.
     Goodnight Darling, I'll see you in my dreams.

G. Steingart
Laugh. I thought I'd die with all the noise around here. There is so much commotion and horseplay in here tonight that I stopped writing several times. After signing my name to papers so much frequently, the G. Steingart just slipped out. But Sweet I'm still the same Gil and I love you more than ever. Goodnight again.

Saturday, January 22, 2022


 Saturday, 20 October 1945

Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day on Okinawa gone to hell. Slept until eight o'clock this morning and then had some eggs and coffee for breakfast. I had planned to go over to NOB (Naval Operating Base) to file my claim but it began to rain so we postponed our trip till tomorrow morning. It rained and rained all day today so all I did was loaf around and read most of the day. This afternoon I lanced an abscess for one of the boys. Hope I can save the tooth by treating it, but with lack of facilities I probably won't be able to do much.
     Here is the dope on points for discharge. It will take 44 points for me to get out. I now have 42-3/4 points so I'll have 43-1/2 on December first. That means that on December 17 I'll have sufficient points to be a civilian. The way it looks now I should be home sometime around December 1 and will take my leave then. What it actually amounts to is two months pay plus mustering out pay. I'll never be reassigned to any duty when I get back to the United States. Isn't that swell? Just think, I'll be home in about six weeks and for practical purposes home to stay.
     Now here is what I want you to do. Get my blues pressed and ready for me. My cap and white cover, minus the insignia, should be boxed and ready to go. If I arrive in Frisco I'll want you to send the clothes up there for me, so I can have something to wear without buying anything more. Include two white shirts with attached collars, so I won't need to be bothered with cuff links or collar buttons. I'll have shoes, socks and shorts, so you won't need to bother about that. Of course if I land in Long Beach there won't be any problem at all. I'll be able to give you plenty of time to get clothes to me. It'll be ten days to two weeks before I'll have any dope.
     The movie tonight is "Hurricane." We had it on the ship recently. The past typhoon was just as bad as or worse than the blow pictured in the movie, so I won't go. Besides it looks like rain which is the real reason for not going.
     And that is thirty for tonight. Goodnight Darling, I'm beginning to count the days till I see you again.


P.S. Just to make sure I'll repeat the dope about clothes in 2 or 3 letters.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Okinawa--New Quonset Hut

 Friday October 19, 1945

Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got back from the movies. We had "Docks of New York" with the Dead End Kids. Kind of corny but the way the kids "murdered" the King's English was a scream.
     This morning another officer and I took a jeep ride over to one of the hospitals to see three of our men. One of them returned with us and the other two will be ready to come back in a couple of days. This afternoon we moved to a new Quonset hut and are settled for another few days.
     They've begun stripping the ship. She should be out of commission in ten days to two weeks. Tomorrow I'm taking over my claim for lost gear. I'm asking for $495 but the amount will probably get pared down some. However I'll come out ahead of the deal because I won't need to replace very much lost gear.
     Outside of that there is no news. I'm waiting, not too patiently, for orders. Nothing will materialize until decommission is complete. In the meantime Darling be patient and don't worry.


Thursday, January 13, 2022


 Thursday 18 October 1945, 11:30 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Another day gone and another day closer to when we'll be together again. Just loafed around all day. It sure is hard to keep busy when there isn't a darn thing to do. I did find an Ellery Queen mystery. I read part of that today, but all in all today was just another one wasted.
     Today I got some more old mail dated the 1st and 4th October. Wish I could tell you when we are leaving but I can't. The Navy announced a three point reduction in points with additional reductions in December and January 1st. It could happen that I'll be a civilian by the time I'm thirty-six. I couldn't think of a nicer birthday present.
     I think I'll be home in time to help you with your Xmas shopping, but to be home by Thanksgiving and your birthday is cutting it pretty thin. However, it could happen. They've started decommissioning the "Mighty O" and they could be finished by the end of the month.
     I think I remember Mary Billings. Is she a thin, nervous type of girl around thirty-five? No use asking as I'm not expecting any reply. By the time any answers get out here I hope to be on my way home. Why only 200 men aboard? The flag carried about 500 enlisted men, yeomen, radiomen, storekeepers and signalman. When they moved, they took them along. The men we had aboard were just those necessary for running the ship.
     You've been talking long enough now about how you've been feeling. How about going to a doctor and getting the low down once and for all.
     Talking about weight, since we've been ashore I've been doing lots of walking up and down hills and my appetite is tremendous. Hope I keep my weight down to what it was. Here the food is better so I eat plenty.
     Your honeymoon schedule is excellent, but I do have one complaint. Don't you think you should allow more time for loving?
     Saw a real good, though old, movie tonight. It was "Knute Rockne All American," with Pat O'Brien. After the movie we played a little poker. I won $25 last night and lost about 25 cents tonight. I'm not doing too badly, am I?
     That is all for tonight so I'll sign off and go to bed. Hope I dream about us I love you so.

Yours forever,

Monday, January 10, 2022

Okinawa--Ensign Jackson Died

 Wednesday 17 October 1945, 9:30 PM

Dearest Eleanor,
     Another busy day but I won't be able to turn in until midnight. Only six officers are living here with the crew. We take turns as OD. I've been on since 7:00 AM. Though I don't have to stay in any particular place I still have to be around at all times, mustering men, arranging working parties etc.
     They sorted out some of the mail that was laying around at the wrecked post office. I got three letters from you and one from my mother. Of course you know by now that we aren't coming back to the United States for decommissioning, but instead will do it out here. That means of course that the whole crew will not be returned to the United States. The word is that high point men and officers with more than a year outside the United States will go back. I'm writing another letter to the Bureau requesting my next assignment.
     I just got back from the movies. I saw a Disney cartoon, "The Three Caballeros." I did enjoy seeing it again. Wish I knew what else to write about. We did have some sad news today. Ensign Jackson, whose leg was amputated, died en route to Guam. One of the other fracture cases resulted in an amputation. All in all we feel pretty badly about the whole thing.
     I'll sign off now Sweet. Goodnight and pleasant dreams. Real soon, I hope I can say when I'm leaving.


Telegram to Dave, Gil's brother-in-law, regarding the fate of the USS Ocelot. The information about casualties contradicts Gil's letter.

Wrecked Buckner Bay Fleet Post Office

Saturday, January 8, 2022


Tuesday, 16 October 1945
Dearest Eleanor,
     The end of another busy day. Why I was busy I don't know but the day went just the same. I began this morning. by taking a patient over to the CB dental office and extracting an abscessed tooth. Then I returned to my quarters and did my own laundry. After lunch another officer and I took the jeep and went over to the ship. I went through my room and found some gear to bring back with me. I expect to be out altogether in the next few months, so with what I have here and at home I shouldn't have to replace anything.
     I had a talk with the captain. He thinks we'll be out of here sometime around November 1. Hope he is right, but I wouldn't bank on it.
     It rained on and off all afternoon and the roads were real muddy. By the time we got back to our camp I was really dirty, so I took a cold shower to wash off some of that "Okinawa mud."
     After dinner we all went to the movies and saw "Junior Miss." I enjoyed the picture enormously and could just see our girls ten years from now and us as well.
     Played a little poker, won three dollars and now here I am just ready to go to sleep.
That is thirty for tonight Darling, so goodnight and pleasant dreams.



Mention of the explosion at the receiving station (Kuba Saki) on Owinawa
The blast must have been on Friday October 12

Points for release

Photo Album -- part of the gear brought back from ship

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Okinawa--Be Good and Help Mother

16 October 1945
Dear Linda and Norma,
     Hello, how are my big girls today? I haven't been able to receive any mail for some time now so I can just guess and hope that you are both being real good and helping Mother as much as you can.
     I had a few special things for you but they were lost on the ship. However, I did manage to salvage some things and will bring them home with me. How soon that'll be is hard to say but I hope it won't be too long.
     'Bye for now my darlings,

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Okinawa--173 Miles Per Hour

15 October 1945, 9:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Just got in from the movies. The picture was "Top Hat" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The movie is a mere ten years old but enjoyable just the same.
     The Navy released some dope about the typhoon but isn't announcing loss of ships or personnel. Anyway the wind velocity was recorded at 173 miles per hour here. That is a little more than just a gentle breeze. Losses have been minimized but I bet they run into the hundreds of millions with plenty of loss of life.
     The only thing new today is that Dr. Bushyager's relief took over. Bushy is leaving in the morning. We all just had a drink wishing him bon voyage and hoping that we'll be following him real soon.
     I visited the dentist at the adjoining CB camp. Any of our men who need treatment will be cared for by men in his office. I have one man whom I'll take over in the morning.
     That is the limit of the news for tonight. Goodnight Sweet and pleasant dreams.


Newspaper clipping describing damage to USS Ocelot the ship Gil served on