Japanese Invasion Money
Lt. (j.g.) Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 30 May 1945, 10:15 PM
Hello Sweet, how is my Eleanor tonight? I've had quite a busy and interesting day. Of course to begin with, I worked on patients all morning. After lunch I took the liberty party ashore. We had over one hundred men go, so we got an LCI to take us over and came up on the beach just as you've seen it done in the movies.
After I got the men squared away I decided to go over to the officers' club. It seemed very close for all there was separating the club from the enlisted men's area was a great big rocky hill. Well they told me there was a trail winding around the rock and so I started out. It had been raining and the ground was quite muddy and in a couple of minutes I found myself in real jungle surroundings. The brush and trees were so thick you couldn't walk except along the trail which ran along the bank of the muddy stream. There were big gnarled roots and large rocks. It wasn't easy going. Believe me I can appreciate a lot more what some of our boys went through in the jungles with full packs on their shoulders and death hidden behind each tree. Anyway after about fifteen minutes the going got easier and in another few minutes I was back on the beach.
I found a group of officers from the ship there and had a couple of drinks with them. Then several of us took a walk along the beach. We found a family of natives living in a small hut on the beach. The whole hut wasn't any larger than our den, yet the family consisted of a father and mother, two teenaged boys, two teen aged girls and one girl in her twenties. The teenagers looked fairly clean but the rest of the family, the surroundings and the hut itself were filthy. Tied up alongside of the hut was a sow with two pigs and two scrawny looking chicks. They speak English well enough to be understood and I'll have some very interesting stories to tell. I did pick up several denominations of Japanese Invasion money and expect to get many other souvenirs in this area. At 4:15 I went back to the enlisted men's area via the jungle and rounded up the men. At 5:00 PM we boarded the LCI and returned to our ship. I showered and changed and was just in time for a late dinner.
The movie tonight was excellent. It was "Animal Kingdom" with Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson and others. Be sure to see it. You'll enjoy it.
There was no mail again today. I understand that due to some mix up all our mail that arrived here was sent back to our last stopping place. I suppose it'll be weeks before some of it catches up with us.
No more for now Darling, so I'll sign off. Goodnight Sweet, I do love you and miss you.
Yours for always,
Natives in front of hut