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."
Bugs Are Biting
Wednesday 20 September
Good morning Sweetheart,
Did you sleep
well?I read the August Reader's Digest
until midnight and then turned the light out.I had hardly closed my eyes when it was 7:00 AM and time to get up
again.It seems the bugs were biting
again last night.We all have a few
welts to show for the attack but they must have just taken little nips out of
me because I slept right on through.
So you've got
nothing to do at night but bathe and stay clean.Well I shower at least once every day because
I have to.I perspire so much that I'd
probably smell to high heaven if I didn't.I hasn't rained much here during the day but it rains every night and
when I come out on deck in the morning everything is wet and fresh looking.
My love, I'm
going on liberty today.Will check the
proofs of my photos, look around some more for those books you mention and
then?Bye my Sweet, till tonight.