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."
Honolulu Aquarium and Scenic Beaches by Bus
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O.
San Francisco Sunday 24 September
1944, 9:30 PM
"Ghost Breakers," a typical Olsen and Johnson movie.I got a big bang out of it though you
probably wouldn't like it.
I hope Norma
is better now.Didn't get any mail this
afternoon except the service edition of the Outlook.However Sunday is a bad day for mail so I'm
looking to tomorrow morning.
so after 1:00 PM mail call, Ambie and I hopped a bus with no destination in
view.Went to the end of the line, took
another bus and went on. This drive was along the beach and very scenic.Came back on the same bus and stopped at an
aquarium of tropical fish.Wish you and
the kids could see it.All sizes and
such shapes; "nightmares" could describe some of the fish very
well.Got back to the ship at 7:15 PM and
so another liberty.
don't worry about me.I'll be quite
safe.Our duties won't bring us into
actual combat and I expect you'll be hearing from me more or less regularly.
cards--I am working on something now.If
it materializes all the crew and officers will have Xmas greetings to send home
free of charge.
I played back
Dave's record which had a personal message from him to bolster my morale
(supposedly) and a cute story on the other side.As soon as our public address system is in
operation I'll plays it so the whole ship can hear it.
As far as
studying after the war is over, where I go will depend on what is
available.How can I say now where I
want to go when I don't know myself?Good night dear.
Monday 9:00 AM
No mail this
morning.I hope Norma is better.Got a letter from your mother and mine
yesterday along with yours which I failed to mention.Here it is 11:00 o'clock and this is all I've
gotten written.The next patient will
wait until I'm through.
you feeling better this morning?Hope
you got a decent night's sleep.Do you
remember how we went sailing on Lake Arrowhead and how scared you were?Well we're going again and let's try sailing
once more.Maybe you'll have more
confidence in me.
better close and make sure this gets off today.Bye Sweetheart until tonight.