Here Kitty KItty

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 31 July 1945, 10:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Sweet, here I am just as usual.  Today has been another hot one.  How I wish it would rain!
          I worked all morning and part of this afternoon and then I went to have my hair cut.  After that I showered, censored mail and began another book, "Homicide for Hannah," a murder mystery.  Soon it was time for chow and then our nightly game of cribbage.
          Our movie tonight was "Escape in the Desert" with Philip Dorn.  Just fair.  Now here I am.
          Again there was no mail this morning.  But late this afternoon I got five letters from you written Saturday, Sunday and Monday the 21st, 22nd and 23rd.
          So Cousins is the most important man on his post.  My, my! Well so am I with the select group of patients I have.  An admiral, commodore, a mess of captains and commanders to say nothing of lower ranking officers all dependent on me for dental care makes me quite important too.  Like hell it does.  It's just Cousins all over again.
          Now that you have a firsthand report from my mother about Libby's home you aren't jealous anymore.  As I matter of fact I can hear you meowing.  Here, kitty, kitty! Shame on you.
          I'm glad the kids enjoy the beach.  If the Lake Arrowhead deal flops again,
I wonder if going to the beach regularly would be the answer to your vacation problems.  Sounds like the house is all fixed up now.  Bet it's real nice and I can hardly wait until I can see for myself.
          I don't know why you have to have the family over.  It hasn't been very long since you last had them over.  It is too much for you and does cost money.  What's the use of talking?  By the time you've read this, you'll already have done it.  I hope everyone enjoyed it.  I know they did with your excellent planning.
          I'm glad you got the little remembrance I made in time for our anniversary.  The shell sure takes a beautiful finish.  You know there is no varnish or lacquer on it just a natural high polish.  I'll put your order for necklaces like Norma's on order.  I've just finished another shell bracelet.  Each shell has been specially treated with acid to bring out some beautiful colors.  I'm making earrings to match and earrings to match the last bracelet I sent you.  I'd like Deb to have the one I sent you or maybe I'll get around to making another for her.  We'll see.
          The proposed release plan for the Navy will do nothing more than release older men.  It is amazing how few have sufficient points.
          I hope I get my shaver soon.  So far I've been able to borrow one, but it is an old shaver and it'll likely to fall apart while I'm using it.
          No more for now Darling so I'll sign off.  Goodnight Sweetheart.  I'll see you in my dreams.

Murder Mystery Book

The nightly movie

I Sweat It Out

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 30 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Another hot day with no rain in sight.  Sweat has been just rolling off me all day long. I'll be surprised if I don't get this paper wet before I'm through. 
          I worked all morning and part of this afternoon.  Then I wrote a letter to Deb.  At about 4:00 PM, I went to my room, undressed and showered.  I censored some mail and finished "Captain from Castile."  After dinner we played cribbage and now here I am.
          Again today, there was no mail.  I was really disappointed.  I guess I'll hit the jackpot tomorrow.
          Last night's movie, "Valley of Decision," was good but didn't measure up to the book.  As a matter of fact I found it rather slow in places.  Tonight we have an oldie in Technicolor, "Northwest Mounted Police" with Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard.
          There are lots of rumors floating around about an early Jap surrender but all my early optimism has changed and I don't look for an end to this mess until the summer of 1946.
          In the meantime I sweat it out until my relief and orders get here.  Then I'll hurry home to the one I love.
          Meanwhile Sweet I'll just say goodnight and I'll be with you again tomorrow.

Got a Small Tug Boat

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 29 July 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Here I am again Sweet. Today was Sunday so I didn't have any scheduled appointments.  Instead I wrote four letters this morning and then read in my room until noon.
          After lunch I got a small tug boat. The captain and other officers went ashore with me.  We left at 12:30 and got back at 6:00 PM.  We had a few beers, walked along the beach and just took it easy.  We got back late, but we didn't play cribbage and ate with the first sitting.  Now here I am.
          There was no mail today except for a B'nai B'rith Monthly.  Mail has been very sporadic all week.  I did forget to answer one question so I'll do so now.  That information I sent to the Fleet Dental Officer was in response to an article published in an official naval bulletin.  However in addition to that I'll send in a request to the Bureau. I'll make that request next month.
          We have what should be a good movie tonight Greer Garson in "Valley of Decision."  Last night's movie had Chester Morris in it, not Richard Dix as I had stated.  Anyway skip "Rough, Tough and Ready" when it comes around.
          No more for now Honey so I'll say goodnight.
Loving you always,

Built Our Own Ice Cream Machine

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 28 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Darling, today is another anniversary for me but I wish it weren't so.  One year ago today I reported aboard the Ocelot.  Was that a day!  We were both so stunned that we didn't realize the meaning of it all until later.  Now the greatest portion of our separation is behind us and soon we'll all be together again.
          This morning the admiral officially took over command of the Flag and a "change of command" ceremony was held aboard at 8:00 AM.  From then on it was a typical Saturday morning with work and preparation for captain's inspection.
          This afternoon I finished "Leave Her to Heaven" and began "Captain in Castile" a historical novel of the time of the Spanish Inquisition.  The setting is in Spain and Cuba.  Very interesting. Because of the rather full depiction of torture methods, I won't recommend it for you.
          At 5:00 PM I showered, censored mail and then dressed for dinner.  After chow we played cribbage as usual.  By the way, we built our own ice cream machine and have the stuff every day.  We make seventy gallons a day.  There is enough for all.
          I got three letters from my Sweet today and one from each of our mothers.  We must enjoy our movies a lot more than people at home do.  The movies that you thought were just fair seemed excellent to me.  Guess we appreciate the little entertainment we get!
          Wish you'd square up with Bessler.  A bird in the hand, you know.  Take $40 and if there is more we'll follow up on it when I get home.
          Guess I was right about Leon.  The Bureau did catch up with him.  Well he can't complain.  He's had a long tour of duty stateside and Okinawa is pretty safe now.
          The money is bone-fide Jap invasion money.  I have more, and the higher denominations show use.  However the smaller bills weren't used because there wasn't anything to buy with them.  Everything was sky high.
          Glad Deb and the baby are doing well.  I must write in the next day or so.  I've been so lazy lately.
          The movie tonight is "Rough, Tough and Ready," with Richard Dix and Victor McLagen.  Probably just as poor as Jack Benny last night but I'll go anyway.
          Now I'll sign off.  Goodnight Sweetheart and pleasant dreams.

Japan Peace Feelers

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 27 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Sweet, this is me broadcasting again.  News remains the same as yesterday except that promised showers did not materialize
          Today was the usual work day.  In the afternoon we held field day so I had time to read.  As hot as it's been my room has been cool. It was very pleasant stripping down to my skivvies and relaxing in my bunk.  I'm reading "Leave Her to Heaven," by Ben Ames Williams.  I do recommend it to you.
          At 5:15 I showered and dressed for dinner.  Then we had our usual cribbage game.  Now here I am.
          I am pessimistic about the end of the war.  In spite of my attitude, Japan has put out some peace feelers.  I pray that I was wrong.  However they'll get no easier peace than Germany did.  Lord alone knows if they'll quit under those terms at present.
          The only mail today was a letter from Ivie.  He still sounds very unhappy.  Aren't we all?  But crying about it doesn't help.  One just must be cheerful and make the best of an unpleasant situation.     
          Our movie tonight is "Horn Blows at Midnight," with Jack Benny.  I hope it is better than his past efforts at humor.
          No more now Darling so I'll say goodnight.  How about a visit in my dreams?  I haven't seen you in a long time.  I love you.
Always yours,

Happy Anniversary

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 26 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello darling, this is station G-I-L on the air bringing you news and views in far off lands.
          Today has been a scorcher and the weather man predicts no relief in sight.  Light showers followed by more sunshine and high humidity will add to the discomfort of local inhabitants.
          On the war front no activity to report but the local dental officer is just as busy as ever.
          Although a day late the baker aboard the Ocelot surprised the dental officer with a decorated cake saying "Happy Anniversary Dr. and Mrs. Steingart."  The cake was served with ice cream at dinner in the ship's wardroom.
          That is thirty for tonight, Station G-I-L signing off.  Goodnight.
          Well dear, that is the news for today.  I was really surprised when the cake was brought to me. I took a picture of it.  As soon as the roll is shot and developed I'll send it on to you.
          The Navy announced its point system for separation from the service but actually all they're doing is retiring overage men.  Another system will undoubtedly be announced later on.
          I just messed around all afternoon, showered and censored mail before dinner and after eating played cribbage.
          Last night about fifteen officers went ashore and though I looked for Simmie at the Club I didn't find him.  Anyway we all got pretty tight and returned safely to the ship about midnight.
          Tonight's movie is "Twice Blessed" but I don't know a thing about it.  No more for now so I'll say good night Sweet. I love you.
Yours forever

Inefficiency and Waste

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Wednesday 25 July 1945, 5:00 PM
Dearest Sweetheart,
          Happy Anniversary Darling.  I know that next year and forever after you and I will be together to celebrate this and all the other happy holidays of the year.
          Today has been another scorcher.  The sun has been smiling all day and I've been frowning.  Wish it would rain and rain.  Then I'd be no wetter than I am now but I would be much cooler.
          I worked all morning but I didn't see any patients this afternoon.  I got out some official letters to the Bureau requesting increases in allotments for our library and recreation.  Then I found a cool spot and just sat there and talked with others who had the same idea that I had.
          I have a few minutes before showering and dressing for dinner so here I am.  I got one love letter today so I really can't complain. Of all on this ship, I have the most loving, most faithful correspondent and everyone else knows it.
          The war news is good but frankly I don't think the war will be over until the middle of 1946.  I was optimistic up till now but if the Japs were going to quit before total defeat they would have done so before now.  It is evident that they'll have to be defeated decisively and I don't believe any large scale invasion can be expected until next spring.  It took eighty-seven days to take Okinawa. Japan itself will certainly be at least as tough to take.  So my guess is July 1946 for VJ day.  I truly hope that I'm wrong this time and that it is sooner.
          You are constantly running into snags with you vacation plans but I do hope that everything gets ironed out before you get this letter.
          Yes Goldfarb is a friend of the captain. At present he is underway to a new station.  However this place is much pleasanter than where he'll be.
          No your interpretation about the Flag set up is wrong, at least as it stands now.  There is nothing definite and new scuttlebutt comes out daily.  It varies so I'm ignoring it for the time being.
          No one could interest me in regular Navy with less than a captain's commission. That is impossible and is probably why I set that as a minimum.  Frankly I've seen too much inefficiency and waste both of money and manpower to be interested.  I'm not one to cow tow to another because he outranks me.  Civilian first class for me.  I'm doing my job as well and as efficiently as possible but I'm ready for a change in my status anytime it comes and the sooner the better.
          No more for now Darling so I'll sign off.  I haven't told you "I love you" lately but that is only because words fail me when I want to tell you how much.  Would that you were near me and I wouldn't have to say a word.  My actions would be all that you'd need.  Goodnight Darling and pleasant dreams.
Your loving husband,

Mazel Tov!

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Tuesday 24 July 1945, 10:40 PM
Dearest Eleanor
          Hello Honey how is everything today?  Ever since the movies last night it has been raining, so everything is cool and comfy.
          Today was just another routine day with work all morning and part of the afternoon as well.
          In the late afternoon I visited around for awhile and at five o'clock I showered and dressed. After dinner we played cribbage.
          The movie tonight was rather poor. It was "Son of Lassie."  Then I went up to the wardroom, ate a sandwich and read the ship's daily news bulletin.  Now here I am.
          Mazel tov!  Today's mail brought me two letters containing the news about our new nephew.  It must be a Sharlip tradition rushing things a wee bit.  Bet everyone is glad it's over and that it's a boy.  I'll still take our two girls and love them.
          One of your letters was of the 14th and it is a rehash of later letters received.  All about Estelle Sieger--nuff said.  Hetchky, hetchky, that is her all right.
          Your other letter was postmarked 17th and contained the news of the new son and heir of the David Gindoffs.
          Sorry Linda lost her bracelet.  Shall I make her another or is it just a waste of time and energy?
          No I haven't heard from Earnest or Davis in a long time.  At that they've done better by me than some of my so called friends.
          I have no reason to think I'll get back before eighteen months. Of all the dental officers who have gone back from out here, not one stayed out that long.  They all went back in twelve to sixteen months after leaving the states.  Why not me?  Next month I'll send my request for Long Beach in and then we'll see.
          No more for now Sweet, so I'll sign off.  Goodnight Darling, I'll see you in my dreams.

Cool Place

Misdated 1944
Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Monday 23 July 1944, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello Sweetheart, how are you today.  This has been one hot day and I found it was just as cool working on patients as trying to find a cool place on this ship.  There just wasn't any.
          I showered at 5 PM, censored some mail and dressed for dinner.  Just as we went to eat a cool brisk breeze came up and it's been blowing ever since. I hope it continues for things have cooled down considerably already.
          We just finished our cribbage game and now here I am.  The mail brought me four letters from you and one each from Deb and your mother.  Now here goes.
          I think I've told you before about Eniwetok but anyway here goes.  We stopped there on the way from Pearl to Ulithi but we were only there two days.  Fortunately I was able to get ashore and look around.  Many didn't get off.  The atoll is similar to Ulithi but the scar of war is indelibly marked on the islands.  All that remains of many coconut palms are blackened, charred stumps.   Bomb and shell holes are all over the island.  The water is crystal clear and one could see to depths up to twenty feet.  However the bottom was not a sight of beauty.  There were sunken boats, fragments of uniforms and remains of soldiers.  Not a pretty sight to behold.  Because of the lack of trees and shade the place was hot and dusty.  I'm glad we didn't have to stay there long.
          Your descriptions of the house sound nice and I can't wait to get home to see it and for other reasons too.
          I had trouble making out Nina's letter but it does look like she appreciates him more after the separation.  It doesn't sound like she likes the WACs either.  Guess all in all being with her husband was a great improvement to what she's been putting up with.
          Getting your vacation straightened out certainly has been a problem.  I know how you must feel about it all. I'm surprised you didn't tell them to forget about it all.  It wasn't nice after asking you to so obviously indicate that they preferred not having you with them.
          I'm glad you are going to the Bowl and enjoying the programs.  It's just another thing to take up you time till I get there.  Then you won't have time for anything but me and not enough of that.
          Your ideas about a coat sound OK.  Go ahead. When I get back we'll see about a fur coat.
          It would be a crime if Dick is released.  What he needs is some real discipline and some hard work.  Genius my eye.  He is nothing but a selfish spoiled brat with no sense of obligation, loyalty, or honor.  I'd just as soon not hear anymore about it.
          Our movie tonight is "Salty O'Rourke" with Alan Ladd and Gail Russell.
          No more for now so I'll say goodnight.  So long Darling I'll be with you again soon.

Day of Rest

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Sunday 22 July 1945, 10:50 PM
Dearest Eleanor,   
          Sunday, a day of rest at home.  So just to make things more like home beginning today no appointments except emergencies.
          Nothing to do all morning except read.  I also wrote a letter to Uncle Bill.  I'm way behind in my correspondence again so soon I'll just have to take a day off to catch up.
          I failed to mention that we had a new officer report aboard to replace Jim Lyons.  His name is Brossears. He is married; his wife lives in Oakland.  He and I went ashore today.  I told Simmie when I saw him on Friday that I'd be over this morning.  Well we didn't get there until 3:00 PM and he had gone down to the beach.  I left him a note and may see him Wednesday night.  Anyway we went back to the club and had a few drinks.  At five o'clock our boat picked us up and we returned to the ship.  I had just enough time to shower and freshen up before dinner after which we played our regular game of cribbage until movie time.  We had a real oldie today but everyone enjoyed it.  "Mutiny on the Bounty" was the cinema.
          I got three letters today and since I've already received later mail, most of the stuff you write about has already been hashed over by me.
          In spite of what Leon told you, orders come from the Bureau. Even he said in his letter that he wouldn't be surprised to get orders to ship out.
          I've written to Libby about my mother and should be hearing from her soon.  Anyway it won't do any good worrying about it.  We'll just have to wait and see.
          Sorry you didn't enjoy the Fleisher party.  I still think you would have been more miserable had you stayed at home.  Every chance you get to go out, do so. 
          Sweet I never was chaplain.  I'm welfare officer which is the chaplain's job.  Being chaplain is a full time job.  I'm still a dentist, remember?  Yes I'm still librarian. But now that everything is squared away, the enlisted man who runs it for me does all the work and I retain the title.
          I guess the mess treasurer's job is mine until I leave.  When I was first appointed we only fed eighteen officers.  Now we have seventy regular members and have better than two hundred guests each month.  The captain insists there is no one else for the job so I'm stuck.
          About the linens you mention; all I've seen are bridge table size.  As I've mentioned before, the Japs took everything they could and destroyed what they left behind.  Where we are now there is no industry or agriculture so fancy linens are not obtainable.
          Our strange honeymoon sounds intriguing.  All night long with my big girl and all day with all of my girls should keep me quite busy. I will love it!
          Well Darling, I'm getting sleepy and I've run out of things to say so goodnight until tomorrow.
Yours always,

The Eighteen Officers

The Movie

The Letter


Night Turned into Day

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Saturday 21 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Well it's been raining on and off ever since I wrote you last night.  All in all things are considerably cooler now.  Last night we had a really, terrific electrical storm.  The lightening was so bright and the flashes so frequent that for awhile the night turned into day again.
          When I awoke this morning, it was still sprinkling. By the time I finished breakfast it had stopped.  I worked all morning. When I came up topside at 1:00 PM the rain had begun again.
          After lunch I had to take the liberty party ashore and wasn't too happy because it looked like it would be a wet and muddy afternoon.  However by the time we hit the beach the rain had stopped and then sun peaked out from the clouds and smiled down on us all afternoon.  At 4:00 P.M. I mustered the men, got them aboard our LCI and headed back for the ship.  A brisk breeze came up and we had a bouncy ride back in a rough and choppy sea.
          We were back aboard at 4:45. I had time to shower, censor mail, and dress for dinner.  After that we had a most enjoyable game of cribbage and now here I am.
          No mail today.  If the threatening weather persists, air mail will probably be delayed for a few days.  I hope not.  I'd rather have it hot and get my sugar report (mail from you) everyday.
          We have a good movie tonight and rain or not I'll be there.  It is Sonja Heine in "It's a Pleasure" or "Isn't it a Pleasure."  I don't recall which.  With you it would be in either case.
          That's the extent of stuff and nonsense for tonight, Sweet so I'll sign off. Goodnight darling, with all my love just for you.
Your lonely and only

Heat Saps

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Friday 20 July 1945, 7:00 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          Hello my Sweet, here I am again.  I had my usual busy morning but this afternoon being field day I had no appointments and had all the time to myself.
          Several officers were going over to the beach on business so I tagged along.  Just as we hit the beach it began to blow and rain like I've never seen before.  We gathered at the club and drank beer until the squall abated and then we all went our own ways.  I went out on the highway and thumbed a ride to the hospital where Simmie is stationed and visited with him for an hour.  Then I returned to the club to meet the others.  I had time for two more beers before we were all present.  We shoved off but didn't quite make the first sitting of the wardroom and had to wait until 6:30 to eat.  That gave me plenty of time to shower and clean up before chow and now here I am.
          I got six letters today.  Three were from you, my darling. There was one each from Ethyl, Leon and Libby.  Now here goes.
          I do hope all you Lake Arrowhead plans come off smoothly now.  Another disappointment would be too much.
          I really feel okay and though my letters are short you shouldn't interpret that to mean I'm low and discouraged.  Of course there is nothing to cheer about.  I really do miss you and the kids.  Yet I am safe and have as many comforts as one could expect and I am doing the work I like.  However the heat is terrific and it does sap a fellow's enthusiasm and pep.
          I'm really hoping and planning to be with you on your birthday.  Next month I'll send in my request for my next assignment.  We'll just have to be patient, wait, and see.
          From the amount of time you've spent cleaning, the house sure must have been a mess when the painters and floor men were finished.  I hope you didn't overdo.  You know that another day more or less wouldn't make any difference.
          Tonight's movie is "China Sky" with Randolph Scott and is supposed to be good.
          I just had my next correspondence course lesson typed up and after I've edited it, I'll send it off.
          That is all the dope for tonight honey so I'll sign off.  Goodnight Sweetheart and pleasant dreams.

The Hottest Day

Lieut. Gilbert Steingart
U.S.S. Ocelot, F.P.O. San Francisco
Thursday 19 July 1945, 7:15 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
          It was a good thing I wrote to you when I did yesterday.  After dinner last night at 6:30, we left the ship and went ashore on a tug.  It's been eight months since I'd been ashore at night for a few drinks and relaxation.  The change was most enjoyable. I'll have to do it more often.  It was past twelve when we got back.  I was a wee bit high and turned in immediately.
          The club we went to is very close to the hospital that Simmie is at. The club has dancing every Wednesday night.  There were about fifty nurses, all escorted, and about four hundred officers.  Every other dance was a tag dance.  I danced twice and gave up.  I couldn't get half way around the floor before someone else cut it.  I'm not that hard up for a woman in my arms yet.  At least not any woman.  Now if a girl named Eleanor were there it would have been different.  However, as I said before, being off the ship in the evening was nice for a change.  We are planning to go over more often.
          Today has been the hottest I've experienced since we left the States.  I was busy all morning with patients.  This afternoon I got hold off a picket boat and ran into town to book another USO show for our ship.  The round trip took one and a half hours and I was ashore for about an hour.  By the time I got back my face was all tanned from the sun.  Where my cap covered my forehead I have a white patch.
          Before I dressed for dinner, I went to my room, showered, censored mail, and read.  After dinner, we played cribbage and here I am.
          There were no letters for me today but I did receive the package you sent with earrings, coffee drops and B'nai B'rith Bulletins.  I also received the May "Temple Tattler."
          We have been barren of any scuttlebutt lately although a change is still pending.  I'll probably have my orders before that transpires.
          The movie tonight is a western, entitled "Utah," with Roy Rogers.  We also have two shorts.
          And that is thirty for tonight.  Goodnight my Sweet, I'll see you in my dreams.  That'll have to do me until we're together again.  In the meantime, with love and kisses for all my three girls, I am still
Your loving husband,

Crew and Nurses in the Phillipines