Hospital Ships Are Blacked Out


Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 20 January 1945, 9:50 PM

Dearest Eleanor,

          Just got back from the movie.  It was the sweetest love story and just made me think of us.  The title, "The Very Thought of You." You must see it.  I don't believe I mentioned yesterday's movie in my last letter.  It was "San Fernando Valley," just amusing but nothing exciting.

          Well Sweet today began as usual with work.  However at 10:00 AM we had Captain's Inspection so we knocked off work at 9:30 AM. By the time inspection was over it was 11:00 AM and too late for more work

          After lunch a recreation party went ashore so I joined them for a few beers and a little relaxation.  I found some more shells and have quite a variety now.  It was quite rough coming back and I got soaked to the skin.  However after a shower and change of clothes I was ready for dinner.

          After dinner I censored some mail and accepted a challenge by the baseball team of another ship for a game Monday.  The ship that the chaplains came over from on Sunday has left, so I had some last minute messages to send to arrange for our men to attend divine services tomorrow. By the time all the details were arranged it was 8:00 PM and time for movies.

          After the show I came down to my office for our nightly visit and surprise, two letters from my Sweet postmarked January 13th.  I'm' still looking for mail of the 5th, 7th, 9th, 10, 11th and 12th.  Guess they'll all come in a day or two.

          Now to your letters.  You sound much happier and that makes me that way too.  I don't understand Leon's wish for a hospital ship that is safe and not blacked out.  I don't trust the Japs and evidently neither do the authorities out here.  I've seen hospital ships in and out of this anchorage. They black out along with other ships.  However from the stand point of a medical or dental officer I guess a hospital ship is the most desirable type of sea duty.

          Find out Vic Spitzer's address and also what outfit hi is in.  I might be seeing him one of these days.

          No dear the Ocelot is in no need of repairs. The scuttlebutt persists although as I mentioned a couple of days ago it may be a month longer than I first thought.  However, relax; if we ever head east I'll let you know in ample time.

          Will look for those chains.  You should be receiving the necklaces I made for the kids soon.  I do hope you like them and don't forget the link on the clasp of one chain is temporary.  Have Marty put a good link in.

          You're getting to be quite a regular "school marm" with all the teaching you're getting.  I'm glad because I know keeping busy makes the time go much faster.

          I'm glad you found your earring.  I had a very difficult time locating it and with Xmas gone it would be difficult to replace.

          What about the native girls? All the inhabitants have been removed to another island which is out of bounds to service personnel.

          I don't think Ruth should feel terrible about Dick.  Discipline and active living will do him more good than all the money he could make.  He'll learn to appreciate all that he now takes for granted, believe me I know.

          Sorry to hear about all the trouble your relatives in the east are having.  We never seem to appreciate good health until it's gone.

          Darling, do you remember Sunday afternoons on the beach in Venice after the rest of the family went in to shower?  Somehow the movie tonight reminded me of those happy days.

          Good night Sweetheart.  I'll close now but I'll see you in my dreams.

Love,

Gil