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."
Wild Goose Chase--Used Wrong Form for Requisitions
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O.
San Francisco Saturday 14 October
1944, 9:40 PM
Went on a
wild goose chase this morning.Got some
requisitions made out, borrowed the Captain's jeep. After chasing around for an
hour getting it okayed, I was informed that the form used was wrong and so I've
got to do the whole thing again.
returned to the ship and worked the rest of the morning.After lunch, I rated liberty so I went on a
shopping tour.By the time I was through
it was 4:00 PM so I returned and stowed my package aboard and then went over to
the Officers' Club for a few beers.
one of the officers and I played checkers until movie time.My game is really improving.We had a swell movie tonight, "Janie."If you haven't seen it you must.
No mail today
except the enclosed card from Rabbi Lifschitz.So no quiz program.I have so
much to do in the morning that I won't be able to write until tomorrow night.You see, if I don't get the letter off early
in the morning it won't leave the ship the same day.
I've had a
slight cold the last couple of days.First I thought I was getting one of my sore throats but a few doses of
"sulfa" and my throat cleared up.The Doctor says as soon as we leave here my cough will clear up.A harbor cough is what he calls it.However, there are several colds aboard and I
believe it's being passed around.
you remember how much we've always enjoyed boating and how I wanted to buy a
small craft for our pleasure?Well
Sweet, I haven't had too much of the sea yet and after the war I wouldn't be
surprised if the Steingarts turned up with their own boat at Arrowhead or
How are my
two little darlings doing these days?Hope Norma soon gets over the crying spells she has when left outside to
play.And Linda must be getting to be
quite the young lady now.Did Dutchy get
over her illness?Every time I send a
letter off I think of dozens of things to say but when I'm writing I forget.
it is time to turn in because I'm going to have a busy day tomorrow.I love you Sweetheart and am counting the
days till we are together again.