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."
Packed Xmas Gifts
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O.
San Francisco Tuesday 17 October
1944, 8:30 PM
This has been
just another day of work.Kept busy with
patients all morning and afternoon.I
knocked off work at 3:30 and went to my room.Spent the next hour packing up the box of gifts I'm sending on to
you.Most items have price tags still on
so you can tell what you wish to give to whom.After I finished wrapping the box I stowed all my gear in my locker and
chest of drawers.My how time flies when
one is busy.By the time I got
straightened around it was 5:45 PM so I showered and changed for dinner.
I didn't go to the movies.We had the
same picture that I saw at the Officers' Club last night.However I gave you the wrong title.In last night's letter I called it "Marriage
by Mistake." It should have been "Bride by Mistake."
why I'm so tired tonight.It hasn't been
too hot; it has been raining most of the time.I got plenty of sleep last night.The yellow fever shot can't have taken effect so soon.My cold is almost gone.Still, I'm tired.Guess I'll turn in and read for a while
before turning off the light.
any mail today so no quiz program unless something comes in the morning.
Good night my
"Sweet."I'll write some more
in the AM.
Love and kisses
Wednesday 10:30 AM
around all morning getting the package wrapped and took care of five
patients.Didn't find any mail this
morning so there'll probably be a stack this afternoon.
Honey, do you
remember the long hours I used to put in working and how provoked you would get
at times? Well, Sweet, after the war you're going to find a changed
husband.One who likes to come home
early and spend more time with his family.
No more news
for now.I'll close with all my love to
you and our girls.