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."
Showing Off Photo of Glamorous Wife
Tuesday, 19 September
Sweet.Got you picture today and have
been showing my glamorous wife off to everybody.One look at your photo and I knew I'd better
get home soon or else.
morning I've been busy running around on some duties and that damned sun is
hot.For dinner tonight our executive
officer had two guests.One was a Jewish
chaplain, the one who conducted the services here.Didn't want to go to the movie tonight
because I had seen it before."The
White Cliffs of Dover.All through the
picture I kept thinking of you.Do you
remember when we saw it in Diego? Anyway I don't think it's the type of picture
to show men overseas and from the Captain down all of us agreed on that.
on the day I stay aboard there is little to write about.Just routine and that is all.I did see the chap I sewed up and he looks
swell.Nothing interesting outside of
that.Will finish in the morning.Good night, darling.
Wednesday September 20,
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.