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."
You May Not Get Mail Regularly
Lt (j.g.) Gilbert
USS Ocelot, F.P.O. San
Francisco Sunday 22 October 1944,
did you have a pleasant Sunday?Today is
the day I usually spent with my girls. Oh well, after this is all over there'll
be lots of Sundays for you and me with our two girls to keep us busy.
This has been
a rather quiet day.I worked all morning
and part of the afternoon.About 3 o'clock
I broke out a new phonograph we got and some recordings of radio programs.We had a little trouble getting the machine
hooked up but finally did.Then we tried
out a few of the programs and they will be swell when radio reception isn't
this evening was a real "oldie" but quite enjoyable--Bob Hope and
Betty Hutton in "Let's Face It."Although I had seen it before I got a lot of laughs out of it so it must
have been good entertainment.
What did you
do today? Did you go over to Ruth's and have dinner there or is that program
discontinued? I had expected to see Al today but it was impossible to reach him
and I had the medical duty aboard.
darling, be patient come what may.You
may not get all the answers and get mail regularly but believe me I love you,
always have and always will.
change,this has been a cool and
comfortable day.A few clouds in the sky
do make a difference especially when they get in the way of the sun.
you remember how you always had to prod me to write a letter.Well dear after the war you are once again
appointed official correspondent for the Steingarts.
Good night darling
and pleasant dreams.Love and kisses to
you and a couple of hugs for our girls.