During World War II, my dad, Gilbert Steingart, served as a navy dentist. He wrote over 500 letters to his wife, my mother Eleanor. His duty in the Pacific Theater took him from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Ulithi, Leyte Gulf (Philippines), and Buckner Bay (Okinawa).
After my mother's death, Daddy wanted to toss the letters. I convinced him to give them to me instead. The letters are a memoir of a remarkable time. Most of the letters begin with the words "Dearest Eleanor."
Addressed Twenty Xmas Cards
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O.
San Francisco Friday 20 October 1944
My Dearest Darling,
down from the movie.The picture,
"Dragon Seed," was long running, over 2 1/2 hours, but it held my
interest every minute of the time.
little to tell since I wrote last night.I addressed twenty Xmas cards that I had purchased and have thirty more
to send in addition.Today has been
another day.I worked all morning and
this afternoon I took inventory of the supplies in our wardroom mess.
today consisted of a letter from Al Stein while he was in the hospital and a
copy of the Outlook.Dear will you
notify the Outlook of my new address?This one went to Diego and was then forwarded.
Now that most
of my work is clearing up I'll go back to work on our ship's library.Just today, I received, by mail, new books
for our library.The cataloguing of the
books we already had is still incomplete.However, I now have two dental corpsmen, so I should make better progress.
till I see the morning mail before I send this letter off.Now it's time to turn in.Good night my Sweet.
Saturday 12:45 PM
running around all morning.Just
finished lunch and found four letters from you.Now we'll have our little visit.
have a letter from me every day.I write
daily, drunk or sober.Such Dreams gal,
don't you know any better. Now back to Mary.If I've written once I've written three times that Mary is all wrong and
I've never wanted to get away from you.I love you too much for that.So--it isn't true and you just forget it.
"Song of the Open Road."It's
about teenagers and lots of music.Linda
must have enjoyed it a lot.I'll file
your suggestions for Xmas and see what happens.The reason I didn't tell you more about my visit with Al is because of
censorship.Al is shore based and so was
able to write more fully about it.No darling
Leon's guess is still wrong so you can proceed to stop worrying.I'm quite safe and expect to remain so as
long as I'm aboard this ship.
pharmacist mate, who was transferred, had been aboard since January but he is
regular Navy (I believe) and had twenty-eight months of sea duty consecutively
running.However enlisted personnel and
officers work differently.Besides he
had been in the states for over a month in February or March.This can't be used as a criterion as to when
I'll return.Forget Xmas cards if you
haven't already attended to it.In all
probabilities they wouldn't reach me on time.
little as you can to the War Chest.I am
making my contribution in a more personal fashion.This year let the others worry about it.Forget the Center completely.When I return will be time enough for our contribution.
I bought a
pair of Ray Ban sunglasses from the ship's store for $4.90.The regular price is $7.75 so that is quite a
saving.Put in a claim for the pair that
That is all
for now, Sweet.Wish I could wrap up a
big bundle of love for you and send it on.As it is I'm storing it up till I get back and then--Oh boy!! Bye
darling till later.