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."
Navigator Pointed Out Stars and Constellations
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O.
Wednesday 25 October 1944, 12:00 (Midnight)
last night, I intended to turn in because it was past 11:00 PM.However there was no sleep in me so I went up
on the bridge and kept the watch officers company.
It was a
beautiful night.The sky was completely
lit up by stars and a bright moon hanging high.I just couldn't help think how wonderful it would be to have you with me
on an ocean cruise.When I turned in
finally it was past twelve.
just another routine day.Worked all morning
and part of the afternoon.It was rather
stuffy in my office and I knocked off about 3:00 PM.Spent the rest of the afternoon on the
bridge.We could see rain squalls on the
horizon and expect some foul weather which didn't materialize.The cloudy sky of early evening gradually
cleared up and by 11:00 PM the stars and moon where shining in all their glory.
began pointing out various stars and constellations and before we got through I
had a chart of all the large stars and planets which I'm going to study.Astronomy is very fascinating and I will have
time to do a little studying.
It is really
late night so I must say good night (better yet good morning) to my
darling.Until tomorrow, loving you