Pharmacist Mate Gave Me a Rub Down

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 28 February 1945, 10:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello my darling, did you sleep well last night?  It was past 2:00 AM when I finally turned in last night and I slept like a log until 8:45 this morning.
          I stayed up because the doctor was operating and there was a chance that he'd want me to give the patient ether.  However the spinal worked perfectly and I didn't have a thing to do but catch up on my correspondence.  I wrote notes to both mothers, Deb and Dave (swell news, eh!), Ethyl and Libby.
          Saw a couple of patients this morning and then worked up the wardroom statement for the month.  Hope to have it balanced and completed by tomorrow night.
          My heat rash is much better, but I got about 45 minutes of sun just the same.  I'm going to get rid of it and try to continue with the same treatment because it does come back.
          I didn't get to censor any mail yesterday because I was busy doing other things.  So I had twice as much to censor today.  I spent from 4:00 to 5:15 this afternoon on that.  Then I showered and dressed for dinner.
          The movie tonight was very good. It was "The Woman of the Year" with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Fay Bainter.  You should see it if you haven't.  I know you'd enjoy it.
          I've had a sore back all day and thought my kidneys were bothering me.  Well a few minutes ago I got the doctor to take a look.  It was just a tight muscle.  He got one of our pharmacist mates to give me a good rub down and it feels much better already.
          There was no mail today, not even a magazine, but who am I to complain.  After getting seventeen letters in two days I really shouldn't expect anything, but just the same I'll be disappointed if I don't get a letter from you tomorrow.
          Well, Sweetheart, that is thirty for today.  I love you and miss you more each day.  Wonder if we'll ever catch up with all that we've missed.  Well we'll try and have fun doing it.
Yours always

Poured Ether

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 27 February 1945, 11:05 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Honey, here I am again.  Began today as usual with work and was hard at it all morning.  After lunch a few of us went over to the recreation island for a few beers.
          There is a grove cleared and picnic tables are scattered throughout.  Five of us sat down at one of the tables and played hearts all afternoon.  Whenever we were due for another round the highest score player bought the beer.  It was really a nice quiet restful afternoon.
          We got back to the ship just in time for dinner and after eating, low and behold there was another stack of mail for me on my bunk.  There were seven letters, four from you, one from Deb, one from Ethyl and one from Joe Orenstein writing for the B'nai B'rith.
          We had a double feature movie tonight.  One was "Vigilantes of  Dodge City" and the other was "Sergeant Mike."  The second feature had just begun when I was called down to sick bay.  The doctor was doing an appendectomy under spinal but the patient was so scared that he wanted me to pour ether.
          We just finished a few minutes ago and will be doing another one in about twenty or thirty minutes.
          Now to your letters. They at dated he 5th through the 17th and the 19th.  I don't know why you're afraid to buy more "G" bonds.  They are negotiable, redeemable at any bank and bear interest.  If you need money, it will always be available.
          You seem to be doing quite well with your teaching.  Two or three days a week should help take up the financial slack and also keep you busy.
          Don't do anything about a lot.  There will be plenty of time and lots later on and the prices won't be as high.  You just wait and see.
          So Ruth has Gus Loeb to gush over now.  My, my aren't you thrilled?  Gus is a swell guy and I hope he doesn't get stuck with Goldie.  He's pretty smart though so I won't worry about him.
          I've gotten many nice notes from patients.  They seem to miss me a hell of a lot more than some of my friends (?).
          Yes dear we can play back 33-1/3 as well as 78 RPM records.  Be sure they are cut deeper and play them back once on the regular turntable not the recording unit.  That should help to fix the groove better.
          Wish we were someplace where I could buy some of the things you ask for.  Outside of Navy, to all intents and purposes we could be in the middle of the Sahara.  There isn't a damn thing I can say good about this place and there certainly isn't anything to be purchased as a souvenir.  I'm still hoping those boxes will come through.
          Again I ask, send me the addresses of Sol and Art.  If they are on a ship I may be able to see them if they come out here.  I'm in a position where I can check on who is here.
          Send the salami but no "borsht" or "gefulte fish."  Some nice sardines or anchovies would be good or even some caviar.  See what I mean?  OK Honey, go to work.
          Well my time is up.  Do you remember when I'd go to the office at night and you'd wait for me first patiently and then not so patiently?  Well I promise to spend all my evenings with you.  No more night work for me once I'm back with my three girls--no mam.
          Good night sweetie, until tomorrow.

Recreation Island
 Mog Mog, Ulithi
Playing Hearts and drinking beer

Hearts all hearts plus the queen of spades too

Another game of Hearts

Philippines Ransacked

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Monday 26 February 1945, 7:10 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Back to the old "grind" again.  Worked all morning and afternoon until 3:00 PM.  Then I censored some mail, read a little, showered and dressed for dinner.
          The mail brought two letters of the 19th in the morning and eight letters from 5th to 13th in the afternoon. All from you.  I should be about all caught up now on your back letters though there are still a few on their way.
          Sorry you missed Abe Weinberg.  However I doubt that there was much he could have told you that you'd like to know.  As for Hansen, if he gets anywhere near Santa Monica I am sure that he will contact you.
          Looks like Ruth is still the same and there is nothing that you can do about it.  Don't spend much on a gift for Libby.  Those bags I sent were expensive and with the dough Nat is making, a couple of cheap hankies was very little from her.
          Mary and Willie probably had similar trouble before we knew them and will continue the same way forever more.  I don't place much stock in her saying she's through or even his leaving her.  You wait and see.
          "The Apostle" is on my book shelf.  I've never read it nor can I find anyone else who wants to.  Yes I know Ruth.
          If I ever get to the Philippines I'd like to pick up some nice things but from what I hear the Japs have probably ransacked it clean and the men who are already there will do a good job cleaning out what is left.
          The "heat rash" isn't serious nor does it bother me except just when I turn in.  It stings a little but some sunshine usually clears it up.
          I'm not surprised about Nina's not liking the WACs.  She has to compete with many much younger and in many cases prettier girls and has to take orders from many who are much less qualified than she is.  All of this tends to make her wish she were civilian again.  I thought she and Jack were all washed up, or is it strictly platonic now?
          After censoring many letters and from my own personal experiences I've come to the conclusion that much of the mail is to raise the morale of the civilians at home rather than the men away from home.  I still think you are oversensitive and wait for others to make the first move, which they won't.  Of course you and I expect more from Ruth and some of our friends because we always went out of our way for everyone but that won't work.  If you want entertainment or recreation, or even companionship you've got to go and get is so--go get it!
          The Center doesn't sound like it's going over or am I wrong?  If you ask me, Santa Monica has too many individual projects and as a result some are going to suffer.  Some people don't realize that this making of money won't last forever and that the projects will need support as much later as now.
          I'm glad you're back on the Bulletin.  You always like that kind of work and it will kill a couple of evening now and then.
          You're mentioning of taxes again.  I'm enclosing some information that should come in handy.  You should get a refund on 1944 when the final reckoning is made but leave it alone until I get back.
          Sorry you didn't enjoy the party for Leon.  When I get back no one else will get a chance to dance with you or sit and talk either.  I'll take care of that.
          Always excitement.  Norma sure gave you a scare.  Oh well, all's well that ends well.  Hope from now on both kids stay well.
          No, I still won't write Leon until he answers my last letter--bet he'd wonder why I was writing if I did.  Anyway I won't do it so forget it.
          Well that winds me up for tonight.  I'll have to dash or I'll be late for the movie.   We have "Lake Placid Serenade."
          Bye Honey, I'll be with you tomorrow.

How Much Do I Love You?

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 25 February 1945, 7:00 PM
My Darling,
          Well Honey, here I am again.  Got to bed real late last night and slept in the morning until almost nine o'clock.  Naturally I missed breakfast but had no trouble getting my usual juice and coffee.
          Didn't do any work today.  As a matter of fact there is nothing new that I can write about.  There was no mail at all this morning but this afternoon's delivery brought me letters from your mother and mine.
          One of our officers got a letter today, four days out of the states, from Texas, announcing the long overdue arrival of a baby girl and is he excited.  Who wouldn't be?  He has been on edge since the first of the month when the baby was due.  Now he knows it's a girl but not another thing.  Probably other letters written prior to the one he received today have the information and will arrive soon.    
          My heat rash is back again so I got some more sun this afternoon.  Guess I'll just have to include a half hour or so on the poop deck as regular part of my daily routine.
          Last night's movie "Enter Arsene Lupin" was just average.  Tonight we have an oldie but a good one, "Louisiana Purchase."
          I'm a little tired and sleepy and my mind is a total blank so there is no more for now.  Have I told you lately how much I love you? No? Well, I'd better do it now.  You do remember the song "How Much Do I Love You" don't you? It goes "How deep is the ocean, how high is the sky."  Yes darling that is how much I love you, only more.
          So long for tonight Sweetheart maybe I'll have some more dope tomorrow.
Yours alone,

"Horse Ovaries" and Animules"

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 24 February 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Sweet, here I am again.  Today was just another day as usual.  Worked all morning and finished up at 11:25.  Went up to my room and washed up for lunch.  The mail brought five letters today, four from you and one from your mother.  Yours were marked 11 and 15, so 12, 13, and 14 are still due.
          After lunch I censored some mail and extracted a tooth. Then four of us went ashore to celebrate a birthday.  We had plenty to drink but returned all secure and put away a nice steak dinner.
          Last night's movie, "Experiment Perilous," was OK, see it.  Tonight we have "Enter Arsene Lupin" but I don't have much hope for it.
          This afternoon when I got back to the ship I found some more mail.  A package from you with "vitamin pills," American Weeklies, and Pictorial Reviews, a Journal of the Southern California Dental Society, Alumni Association Magazine and American Dental Association Bulletin made up my total bag.  Please don't send any more reading material except for books.  We have oodles of magazines, etc.  Also no more candy.  I now have two full boxes and the bulk of the "vitamin pills" you sent .How about some sardines, anchovies and other stuff suitable for "horse ovaries." Now your mail.
          As I've written before Marty sent me a program from the Center banquet.  I do hope Dave makes warrant officer but I'll believe it only when I see it.  I've heard enough about Mary and Willie and their troubles.  How about a new episode?      
          Ruth and Harry have no one to blame for Dick but themselves.  Leon is no model to hold up to any growing boy but I doubt that he had very much influence on Dick.  All I can say is yapity, yapity, yap, baloney!
          I see you got called to teach again.  With all these calls you should be able to get by without digging into our account much (I hope).
          I'm glad that Linda is through with her thumb sucking.  As a matter of fact, from your letters I gather that she has become quite a young lady.  Wish I could be there to see her and Norma and you too!!  Those pictures of the kids before the Xmas tree were swell though they could have been clearer.  But then who am I to complain.  I played back the recording you sent and had the same trouble as with the previous ones.  Please cut the records deeper and play them back before sending them.  Then the grooves will be more defined and the roll of the ship won't cause the playback arm to jump across the record and ruin it.
          You seem to have the impression that there is a naval base with all the refinements of civilization here.  Well there isn't.  Wish I could get you some hose, but all I could get would be men's cotton ones and I don't think you'd wear them.  The same goes for valentines, there just ain't no such animule.
          So honey I'd better sign off.  All this rattle and prattle probably doesn't make much sense but blame it on the drinks I had ashore.
          Bye, my darling, if you were here or I were there we'd sure have fun tonight.  See you in my dreams.

Field Day

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 23 February 1945, 7:25 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Just another day like all the rest.  Worked all morning and it was 11:30 before I was through.  Then I went to my quarters, washed and went up for chow.
          After lunch I showed several visitors around.  "Field day" this afternoon so no work.
          Got three letters today.  Two from you marked the 7th and 16th of February and one from Libby.  Besides you Libby is my most faithful correspondent.
          Can't understand why Al should get the $25 check for the interest on those bonds.  Hope you've changed it so that you'll get the money directly.  Now that you see some return on our investment I guess you'll agree and buy the other bonds as I suggested.
          You want to know what "field day" is.  It compares to housecleaning day especially when you are expecting company (captain's inspection).  The walls and decks are scrubbed and swabbed. Metal work is polished and everything is made ship-shape.  Understand now?
          See "Woman in the Window," It isn't spooky but is full of suspense and has a most unusual ending?  The movie tonight is "Experiment Perilous" and is supposed to be very good.  We could stand a good picture for a change.
          See if you can get the December 1944 or January 1945 Oral Hygiene for me.  There is something in one of those issues I'd like to read.  As a matter of fact if you can find the publisher's address, write and ask them to put me on their mailing list again.  It is gratis and I haven't received any issues since I reported for duty.
          Looks like our 1943 tax situation is all "screwed up."  I still think that the payment you made is a duplicate of one I made while we were in Dago.
          Time for the movie now and besides there is nothing more to tell, bye darling until "manana" (spelling?)
Yours alone,

Xmas and Valentines Cards

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday, 22 February 1945, 7:30 PM
My Darling,
          Had a busy day today.  Worked until 11:30 AM. When I got back to my room I found a package from you.  It contained some socks, Reader's Digests, films and a recording.  I haven't had a chance to play the record yet.  Will do so after the movie.
          After lunch I censored some mail and had some more appointments.  Finished at 3:00 PM and read until 4:00 PM.  Then a few of us went ashore for a few beers.  We got back at 5:30, in time for dinner.
          In the afternoon I got a letter from you. The Xmas card I sent to Mrs. Brown at the Tower Building was returned.  Guess she finally quit (or got fired).
          The movie last night was lousy.  It was "Eve Knew Her Apples."  Tonight we have "One Body for Many" with Bela Lugosi.  No further comment is necessary.
          You letter is marked the 15th so there are a few letters still to come.  Something is mixed up.  The Valentine I sent was to add to your collection.  I sent Libby one as well.  Did I address it wrong or what?  Let me know because I want one to have as a memento.
          Yes darling, Dave's guess was right (I hope).  The technique I'm referring to is surgical.  I've been doing lots of it. Some that I never did in private practice.  When I get back to civilian life I have certain ideas that are radically different from what I had before I joined the Navy and I have some facts to back me up.
          Now that you are busy again with your social life you seem to be happier.  I sometimes think that when you're teaching you lose out on your contacts and are more lonesome.  That's the way it seems from your letters.
          No more for now so good night and I'll be seeing you again (in my dreams) soon.

To Some Money Means More Than Reputation and Ethics

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 21 February 1945, 7:15 PM
Hello Sweetheart,
          How are you tonight?  Good, how about a nice big hug and kiss?  Thanks honey I'll take a rain check on that until I can collect in the flesh.
          Was pretty busy but managed to clean up the morning by 11:30 AM. After lunch I censored some mail and read until 1:30 PM when I returned to my office for more work.                   Knocked off at 2:30 PM to read my mail.  I really got variety.  A letter from you, Libby, Uncle Bill (surprise?) and a couple from patients.  Then I got the course you typed up for me back with a 3.99 (I forgot to date it), a Dental Society Bulletin, the B'nai B'rith Bulletin and Bureau of Medicine literature.  I also got the enclosed bill, please send a check for $6.00.
          From your letter I gather that your spirits are up a few points.  Swell keep it that way. The"Sarnez" sounds delightful. You and I have a date to go there when I get back.
          You should be able to get by on $250 a month considering that the rent is only a very few dollars.  Besides in about two months my pay will up about $50 and that will help you balance your budget.
          In Uncle Bill's letter he called Leon "commander."  Did Leon get his extra half stripe or was that just Bill talking?  So now that Leon is getting shipped out again he has lost all the enthusiasm he displayed for sea duty.  My, my!  I'll not write him.  If he can't answer my last letter well then it's too bad.  I suppose as soon as he ships out he'll begin to "bitch" about mail, but really he doesn't deserve to have everyone breaking their necks to write.  Besides he wouldn't appreciate it.  That much we know from past experience.  Who knows, maybe out paths will cross.  I hope we're going in opposite directions.
          Rose Goodman's son-in-law is making a great mistake going in with Bulpitt.  However I gather that money means more than reputation and ethics to some people.  I do hope he is never sorry for his name.
          The movie last night, "Three is a Family" was a "stinker" and yet you should see it if you can.  There are the cutest twins in it and many laugh provoking incidents.  The picture tonight is also poor but I'll go as usual.  It is "Eve Knew Her Apples" with Ann Miller.
          I am enclosing a snap taken recently when I was ashore.  There are several better ones but there aren't any prints available now.  As soon as I get them I'll send them on.
          No more to tonight darling, so good night until tomorrow.

Censoring is Boresome

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 20 February 1945, 7:15 PM
My Dearest,
          How are you today, Sweet?  Hope you've snapped out of your last moody spell.  Out here everything is as usual.  Lots of sunshine and hot weather broken by light showers.
          Went through my usual morning routine of work and finished up about 11:20 AM.  Then I read until chow time.  After that I got some sun on the poop deck--you'd be surprised how tanned I'm getting and all over, too.
          I had a couple appointments this afternoon but was all through by 2:30 PM.  Had my hair cut and then showed a medical officer, who was visiting aboard, around.  Well not exactly, he actually came over to see if he could get some dental appointments for some men on his ship.  I'll take care of a few and made suggestions as to the handling of the others.
          No mail again today but I bet I get plenty tomorrow.  Some of the men sure write copiously--the amount of mail we censor seems to be increasing daily.  Others can dish out a slick line of bull. On the whole, however, this duty is boresome.
          Didn't stay for the movie last night.  It began to rain. I had seen it recently so I left and read instead.  Tonight we have a picture I've never seen or heard of.  It is "Three is a Family" with Fay Bainter and Charlie Ruggles.  It has a cute plot and should be an entertaining comedy.
          How goes everything? By the way don't send any more old magazines.  We have plenty aboard between what both the men and ship subscribe to.  As a matter of fact there is plenty of reading material though I did enjoy the books I received.
          Nothing more, new or different to talk about.  I'll sure be glad when we leave this "joint" and it can't be too soon for me.  But then nobody asks me.
          Goodnight Honey, till tomorrow with love and kisses.
Yours alone,


Today's Landing on Iwo Jima

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 19 February 1945, 7:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Just another day on the Ocelot.  Saw a few patients this morning and then the mail brought three letters.  Two were from you.  Another was the announcement about the Community Center Banquet at the Deauville with two short lines from Marty.  Some day I'm really going to tell that guy off.
          Both of your letters are of the 9th so there is still a break in the continuity.  I've even had a letter written later.  I got a kick out of the two snaps you enclosed.  I noticed that all three of you are showing off the gifts I sent you.  But Dave was the photographer.  Who else could take pictures underexposed and out of focus.  Oh well, better luck next time.
          I hope you aren't going to let Mary and her troubles bother you.  After all, they left you alone with yours for quite soon time after I left so the h--- with them
          I'm glad you're going ahead with vacation plans.  It'll all work out for the best.  Yes the war news continues to be good and today's landing on Iwo Jima was long looked forward to by us.  Maybe the Japs will give up a lot sooner than the experts think.  A few more sustained blastings of Tokyo may wake those yellow skinned monkeys up.  Anyway I'm sure that Japan will be hanging on the ropes and ready to throw in the towel within a very few months.
          I, too, am wondering what became of some of those packages you sent.  The only possibility is that they weren't securely wrapped and may have fallen apart in handling and the address lost.  Then again they may show up most any time.
          The movie tonight is a repeat, "Going My Way" with Bing Crosby.  For lack of anything else to do I'll see it again.  We've sure been seeing oldies lately.  I do hope we get some new ones soon.
          Nothing more for now Sweet, so I'll close with love, kisses and hugs for my three girls.
Missing you all,


Article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin regarding the invasion of Iwo Jima. Commodore Carter, commander of Squadron 10, was the flag aboard the U.S.S. Ocelot.

Glen Arnold Was Wounded on the German-Belgium Line

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 18 February 1945, 7:20 PM
My Dearest,
          I must have been feeling pretty high last night when I wrote to you.  Can't remember much about what I said. Just remember writing.
          Today has been an interesting day.  I didn't have any regular appointments but was kept busy all morning and for an hour this afternoon with emergency cases from other ships.
          I had a visitor, a dental officer whom I hadn't met before.  He is stationed nearby and we discussed several problem cases that he has.  He is sending me a couple of patients that stump him.  I showed him around the ship and invited him to stay for lunch.  I'm planning to look him up in the near future.
          We have a couple of appendectomies to do tonight and the doctor has asked me to stand by to give ether on the second one if the spinal doesn't work.
          Do you remember the Arnolds, patients of mine?  I made a call at their home once in Venice and you were in the car.  They have two tow-headed boys if you recall.  Well I got a nice card and the enclosed letter from them today. I thought you'd be interested in reading it.
          Got some more heat rash and so have been sunning myself some more.   I hope I get rid of the darn stuff soon.
          The war news certainly sounds good in both theaters and the Japs will catch plenty more hell before this is all over.
          Nothing more for now Honey.  I still am looking for mail of February 4 through 7 inclusive.  Hope it comes tomorrow.
          Night Sweet until tomorrow.

Letter From Mrs.Eileen Arnold whose husband Glen was wounded on the German-Belgium Line.

Removed a Wisdom Tooth and Cyst

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 17 February 1945, 7:15 PM
My Darling,
          Here I am a little high but still--here I am.  A few of us went ashore for a few drinks this afternoon and they were sure potent.
          Today was a special day, so I didn't have any regular appointments.  Instead I removed a bad wisdom tooth. Then I removed a large cyst involving two upper front teeth.  The results were good even if I say so myself.
          At noon I went up on the poop deck and got 45 minutes of ultra violet via the sun.  Then I repaired to my office and extracted one tooth and filled two others before I went ashore.
          When I returned, I showered, dressed and was ready for dinner just in time.
          The mail was sparse today.  A letter and a card from you and a letter from your mother was the total bag for the day.
          Tonight we have another oldie for a movie "Three Men in White."  After much (?) coaxing I guess I'll go.
          Please forgive this rambling letter.  You know how I am after a few "hard" ones.  Tight is the word.
          Good night honey.  I'll write a real long letter tomorrow.  Love and kisses and hugs for all my girls.
Yours alone,


Monotonous Routine Gets Guys Down

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 16 February 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello darling, here I am again.  Today has been a nice, easy one.  I coasted along without any strain.  Just the same, to date I've done as much work as in any month since I've been aboard
          Today being "field day," I hadn't anticipated working in the afternoon.  But as soon as I got comfortable in my rack with a Coronet, I was called down to my office.  I took care of a couple of emergencies.   Then I returned to my quarters for a little reading.  After awhile I lay down my magazine and spent an educational half hour reading the Yearbook you sent me.  There are some new thoughts on the control of decay that are very interesting and plenty of facts to back them up.
          Before I knew it, it was 5:15 PM and time to shower and dress for dinner.  After eating we enjoyed the routine breeze on the bridge.  The sunset, however, wasn't very colorful And here I am.
          I didn't get any mail today but hardly expected any after yesterday's haul.  The movie tonight is an oldie "Double Indemnity."  I believe you saw it after I shoved off.
          So darling endeth another uneventful day.  I'm thankful that my temperament lends itself to my adapting myself to any existing conditions.  This monotonous routine can and does get some guys down but not me.
          Good night Honey and pleasant dreams.  Dream about us when we're together again.  Ah, those happy days to come!

Censored a Letter Written in Yiddish

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Thursday 15 February 1945, 7:30 PM
My Darling,
          The mail did alright by me.  This morning I received two hankies from Libby for my birthday, the February Esquire and the National Jewish Monthly.  This afternoon I got more letters.  One was a letter from Libby asking me where I was.  Of course it is impossible to tell.  It seems they have a flier friend operating out of Pearl and she thinks he might be able to look me up.
          The valentine you sent me was made especially for me it would seem or are there other guys like me around?  Well Sweet you'll never know how much a little thing like this card means to me.
          Your letters were postmarked February 1, 7, and 8 so those in between are still coming.  I see you are still teaching.  As long as it isn't too much for you I'm sure we can use the extra income.  Talking about income, don't pay that additional income tax until you've checked my books.  I seem to remember a similar bill coming through while we were in Dago and I believe the payment was made.  It was drawn (the check) on the Bank of America and should be entered in the day-book.  Anyway check the cancelled checks for the three months that we were in Dago and the books as well before you make any payment.
          Such excitement!  Mary is crazy like a fox.  Bet that suicide she pulled was all planned in advance.  I bet Willie will behave for awhile--even though it's a short while.  Dr. Shafer is an osteopath not a chiropractor but one is as bad as the other.  However there is no use explaining the difference between MDs and other so-called "doctors."  Stay out of it--don't say anything.  You remember we tried once and it didn't do any good.
          You have my insurance papers.  However for access to a PX use your outpatient or commissary card from San Diego as identification.
          Dear you are too sensitive.  It may not be quite proper to address you as Eleanor Steingart. Yet many women, including your sisters Ruth and Deb, use their given names in return addresses.  I'm sure that nothing was meant by having you down as Mrs. Eleanor Steingart and don't make any issue of it.
          Hope the "Fearless Five" got my letter.  I sent it in care of the Goodfriends long ago.
          Army life will straighten Dick out.  Part of one of you letters is missing.  There is a page listing outstanding bills.  There is no beginning to the V-mail letter from Sid Stein. Guess you forgot to enclose it.  It is 7:55 PM so I'll dash to the movie and finish afterward.

9:55 PM
          Back again Sweet.  We had an old movie tonight but I enjoyed it even though it was the second time.  It was "Hold Back the Dawn" with Charles Boyer, Olivia De Havilland and Paulette Goddard.  About an Austrian adventurer who marries an Azusa (?) school teacher to get by the immigration laws.  Remember?
           Today was a normal day.  Worked this morning, not hard, but steadily.  Also this afternoon until 3:00 PM.  Then I had a coke, bought some soap in the ship's store and returned to my room to read my mail.  I censored a few letters.  Talking about censoring mail, one of the men on board, Jewish, writes to his parents in Yiddish and I censored his letter today.  It was only a very short note but it took me several minutes to make it out.  I don't believe I've read any Yiddish in 7 or 8 years.  I suppose all his mail will be brought to me.  In a short time I'll be able to read it as fluently as I used to.  A little practice is all I need.
          Then I glanced through a Coronet, showered and dressed for dinner.  After that I enjoyed another beautiful sunset and then came down to my office for our little visit.
          Sweet, do you remember that day we spent at the Oregon Caves?  Do you recall the hotel dining room with a stream running right through the middle of it?  Remember the happy couple having lunch, looking at each other and holding hands? Could that have been us?  Yes it was and there will be many more such days and soon too.
          Honey, I'm going to sign off now.  Good night darling until our visit tomorrow.
P.S.  Is Sid in the Solomons?  It isn't probable that our paths will cross but then one never knows.  I'll drop him a note anyway though my address certainly won't be any key as to where I am.  Nite, nite.

Ocean Spray Blew Over the Gunwales

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, FPO San Francisco
Wednesday 14 February 1945 11:40 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Sweetheart, how is my Valentine tonight?  I began this letter at 7:00 PM. I hadn't gotten any further than the heading when I got a call to leave the ship.  You see the ship's officers were invited to a party. I couldn't leave until the doctor got back.  Well as soon as I got word that he was aboard I was off in a flash.
          It was a pretty nice. By the time I arrived almost everyone there was as tight as hoot owls.  I proceeded to try to catch up but gave up when I saw how impossible it was.  I understand 70 bottles of whiskey and 12 cases of beer were consumed so you can see it must have been quite a party.
          Anyway we got back to the ship at a few minutes past nine.  I was drenched to the skin from the ocean spray that blew over the gunwales of the boat we came back in.  I had a cup of coffee and went down to my office to write this letter.  The doctor and a commander were "shooting the breeze" so I joined them. A few moments ago they decided it was time to break it up so here I am.
          Wasn't quite as busy today.  Had a full program but I wasn't rushed and was able to work along leisurely.  Cleaned up for the day at 3:00 PM.
          Today's mail consisted of a letter from you and a card from my mother. I've heard lots of talk about "Fighting Lady" and hope we have that movie aboard soon.  I also liked "Sunday Dinner for a Soldier."
          I'm not at all surprised about Linda's report card.  She takes after her Mommy and Daddy so why shouldn't the report be good.  I did write to her in yesterday's letter and will write again next week.
          I had hoped your mother was completely recovered by now.  A week or so ago, she wrote me she was better. Wish someone could prevail on her to see a doctor.  Self medication especially with sulfa drugs is dangerous and should be stopped.
          I see you are having trouble laying "Forever Amber" down.  It is the kind of a book you don't want to stop reading.  See, I told you so.
          I'm glad you are going ahead with summer vacation plans.  A change will do all concerned a lot of good. 
          I didn't mention last night's movie.  It was "Face in the Fog" and it was just as well not to have mentioned it.  Tonight's picture was an oldie, Carol Lombard and Charles Laughton in "They Got What They Were After."  I didn't see it because I went to the party.
          So darling another of my monologues is just about finished.  However it would be incomplete unless I told you how much I love you.  How much?  Well how deep is the ocean? How high is the sky?  That Sweet will give you a rough idea about "how much."
          Good night honey, it is past midnight and time I turned in.
Yours alone

My Pen Is Writing Better

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 13 February 1945. 6:45 PM
My Darling,
          I am a little early. It is raining so there is no sunset to witness tonight.  Note my pen is writing a little better.  I worked the point down a little finer; it'll do me until I get home.
          This has been my busiest day aboard.  I worked steadily all morning and afternoon until about 4:00 PM.  By then I was pretty tired so I undressed and relaxed with an Ellery Queen story.
          Don't worry about me working too hard.  I'm really enjoying keeping busy as it helps the time to pass more quickly.  This month seems to be flying by and I think it is because I'm working most of the time.
          Got five letters this morning.  Three from you, a valentine from Linda and a nice letter from Ethyl.  She sure is swell.  I wish all our friends were like her, and then I wouldn't worry about you being so lonesome with me away.
          I see you're still teaching.  Swell as long as you say it isn't too much for you.  Bet you are making more money than I am, considering the time we both put in.
          The concert sounds quite good and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.
          No, I didn't know I was buying you a new mink coat but I'll save my pennies and by Xmas the coat will materialize.
          I'll weigh myself right now and report back.  Don't go away.  It's 170 on the nose, clothes, dinner and all.  Took some snaps the last time I went ashore.  When I get them I'll send them on.
          Wait until you get into "Forever Amber" more.  I found it more interesting every page I read and you will too.
          We could use some of the cold weather you are having.  I do hope Linda's indisposition was short lived and she is OK now.  Guess "Stinky" is over hers alright.
          Be sure that Sol has my address.  If he is shipping out our paths may cross.  Send me his address as well and I'll keep my eyes open.
          There aren't any seaman third class ratings.  A third class rating is a petty officer rating.  Examples: pharmacist mate, storekeeper, yeoman etc.  They all rate from third, second, first to chief.  Yes, my promotion should be soon now.  Another two or three months.  It takes fifteen to sixteen months to make lieutenant.  Leon and Jim can be Lieutenant Commanders for a much longer period.  Two years is nothing at the present time.
          I don't know why Libby's letter should upset you.  She doesn't have any more money than we have or had for the past five years.  I can't see anything to get excited about in her letter, and Honey it isn't like you to be so jealous and selfish.  I'll just blame it on the times and say no more.
          Got a valentine from Gilman but haven't heard from the repair base for a long time.  Guess I've been remiss in writing.
          Honey, I'm seeing my share of movies. Just to be with you I'll go anyplace you want when I get home.
          I'm glad you're going ahead with plans for Arrowhead this summer. It'll do the kids and you (too) a lot of good.  Maybe I'll even surprise you and join you up there.  I'm still hoping.  Plan to go in the late summer when the chances will be better.
          That was a pleasant day in Santa Barbara.  We'll spend our next honeymoon any place you say.  Even home will suit me.
          Well Sweet, I'm fresh out of words and stuff so I'll close with loving thoughts and dreams of days to come.
Yours only,

Broke My Fountain Pen

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 12 February 1945, 7:25 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello darling, how is my Sweet today?  This morning was a busy but enjoyable one.  Extractions all morning and that was fun for a change.  However I did manage four fillings.
          After lunch I had two more extractions and was all through for the day.  Don't ask me what happened but I'm glad I didn't have to work.
          You are probably wondering about my pen.  Well it rolled off my desk and one of the prongs of the nub broke off.  I ground the other prong down and polished the point up.  It writes pretty heavy now but I finally got it smooth.  I'm not going to do any more fussing with it.  When I get back I'll have a new point put on.
          Got three letters from you this morning. One contained the "Modern Dentistry" booklet, another "Temple Tattler" and the third some U.S. News clippings with a very short note.  Well, I suppose I'll get more mail tomorrow.  This afternoon I got a nice letter from Dave.
          Caught up on my correspondence.  I wrote to Deb and Dave, Ruth and Harry, mother and the Leavys.  I have some others to write to but they'll have to keep a little longer.
          We have another poor movie tonight but I guess I'll go anyway.  It is "Missing Juror."  I hope it is at least passing.
          Not a damn thing worth talking about.  Every day is a repetition of the one before.  The only consolation is that we can't stay here much longer (that's what we thought when we first got here, too). Sooner or later we'll all come home.
          Good night my Sweet, till we meet again tomorrow.  Hugs and kisses to all three of you.

Arranged Catholic and Protestant Services

Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday February 11, 1945, 10:45 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello darling, this being Sunday, how about an extra hug and kiss.  Swell, I knew you'd be agreeable.
          Between arranging Catholic and Protestant services and dentistry I had quite a busy morning.  However after lunch six of us went ashore and did a little elbow bending.  In between drinks I managed a little time for hunting shells.  I also picked up a ripe coconut and I'm making a paper weight of it.  It will be an interesting souvenir of this place.
          Got back a little high. Showered and changed for dinner.  After eating, another fellow and I went up on the bridge and enjoyed our usual evening breeze.  We've really had some beautiful sunsets, but today topped them all.  As the sun set in the west the clouds on the eastern horizon took on a beautiful pink hue, on the western horizon the clouds changed from white to yellow to orange and then on to deepening shades of red until it faded into a grey.  In between these clouds the sky was a deep blue which changed to robin egg blue and then to a blue green as it merged with the horizon.  Guess my description isn't so hot but you know if I take the time write about anything like a sunset it must have been beautiful.  Oh yes, when looking at a sunset on the seas the water also makes an interesting study.  The reddish clouds reflected their hues onto the gray waters to give it a reddish gray appearance and as the light faded from the skies the water took on a mysterious deep blue color.  Guess that is enough for sunsets.
          Went to the movie as usual.  We had "Girl Rush" but it is one movie people won't rush to see.  "Poor" is putting it mildly.  By the way last night's "Sunday Dinner for a Soldier," was quite good.  See it.
          After the movie I went up to the wardroom and saw some shipboard battle scenes.  It wasn't what one would call entertaining but it did illustrate some of the horrors of war very graphically.
          After that I was brought a large paper cup full of ice cream.  We make our own once a week and buy some from another ship twice a week, so we get enough of that.
          We've also got fresh lettuce and celery aboard.  It is the first we've had since we were in the Hawaiians.  Now if I could get some fresh tomatoes and fresh milk I'd be satisfied.  That is if I could have you too.  Guess when I get any of the above I'll get them all.  I hope it will be soon.
          After reading the last paragraph I've decided that I'm not quite sober yet so--good night Honey and pleasant dreams.  Until tomorrow.