Ran a Higgins Landing Craft Aground

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 1 January 1945, 7:35 PM

Dearest Eleanor,

          And so begins a new year. First, I want to tell you a little more of the celebration aboard.  After I finished my letter I intended to turn in, but no chance.  The men had gotten hold of pots, pans, garbage can tops and the band's drums and were parading all over the ship making a most ungodly racket.  Most of the officers were fairly well oiled.  We all went up to the Captain's quarters to serenade him and wish him a happy new year.  We probably awoke him so I doubt if he appreciated it.  Then we returned to the wardroom for a snack and finally I turned in.

          Worked all morning on the mess statement.  It cost me $25 last month to eat and that was really cheap. 

          After lunch today a few of us went ashore.  Two bottles of beer was all I drank.  I just didn't feel like it.  Instead I hunted for more shells.  I have quite a collection now.

          The boat we were using was a Higgins Landing Craft.  She ran aground over some coral and we had a hell of a time trying to get someone to pull us off.  We finally got someone to do it and returned safely.  Of course there was no danger because we were close to the shore and there were many boats around.  Besides it wasn't deep or we wouldn't have run aground in the first place.

          The movie tonight is "Should Strangers Marry" and the cast are all unknown to me.  I'll tell you more about it tomorrow.

          I also brought a coconut back.  I'm going to polish it up and make a souvenir paper weight out of it.

          Nothing new today except more confirmation on the previous scuttlebutt.  We may be moving out of here even sooner than the three months I figured on at first.  Here's hoping.

          No mail again today.  I'll probably get a whole sack full when I do get some.

          Darling, do you remember New Years Day of previous years?  Just lounging around because we were too sleepy and tired to go anyplace.  I'd listen to the football game and maybe doze off before it was all over.  Well, Sweet next year we'll stay home together and rest and listen to the ball game in-between (?)

          Good night Sweetheart, the movie is about due to begin.