World War 2 Letters: Dearest Eleanor
Lt. Gilbert Steingart served as dentist aboard the USS Ocelot in the Pacific Theater. He promised to write daily letters to his wife Eleanor. The following are some excerpts from his posts home during World War 2 courtesy of his family. They provide some unique insight into the common concerns, challenges, and communications difficulties that reliance upon regular mail forced on families of all countries during the war.
Quotes about Mail from World War 2
Some quotes about mail:
– Wish I could save all your letters, but room is something there isn’t much of. You save mine, and I’ll use it as a refresher when I return, and tell you all about things.
– Zowie, I hit the jackpot at last. Eighteen letters today. One from Libby, one from Ruth, fifteen from you, my Sweet, and a card that was on the ship that burned. I am sending it back to you. Keep it as a souvenir.
– After days of no mail, I received 22 all at one time. Sixteen from you. Three of the letters looked like they had been soaked down. It is my guess that these letters were on that plane that went down between the States and some of our Pacific Islands. They were late but plenty welcome.
– So, you want me to spend at least 10 min. a day writing to you. Darling, every letter I’ve written has taken at least 30 min and if there were more to write about I’d gladly take many times more time. Don’t be blue, Sweet. I do love you and think about you all the time.
– Sweet, I don’t care whether you write or type. Just hearing from you and knowing all is well is all I ask for.
– You know, honey, you still aren’t yourself and I can tell very easily. You say in one letter you are enclosing a clipping and then it comes in the next one. You sent me the first page of Deb’s letter, but where is the rest of it? Take it easy, Sweet; when I get back I want to find you your old sweet self, not a nervous wreck. And don’t be so suspect when you miss a letter from me one day. When we put out to sea it might be a month or more before any mail will leave the ship. Just remember every day that passes is one day closer to the time when we’ll be together again. And even though I won’t be hearing from you when we are at sea, in my heart you’ll be with me always, you and my two darling girls.
– Yes, dear, air mail takes 7 to 10 days, but regular mail takes better than 3 weeks.
– By the way, figure two months for packages to reach me, so don’t be too impatient if either yours or mine seem overdue.
– We stood up on deck and watched the sun set in a glorious blaze of red fire and a great big yellow, tropical, moon rise in the heavens. You could follow its silvery path on the sea clear out to the horizon. Pretty as it was, I left for our little daily visit. The officers who were with me wondered what I could possibly write every night.
– I received a box of dried fruit from Ethyl which was crawling with worms. Any food that is sent must be able to withstand heat up to 140 degrees. I don’t know whether to tell Ethyl or not. If I don’t, and just thank her, she might just go ahead and send me more. I’ll leave it up to you to tell her or not.
– I guess you didn’t take me seriously when I said pack everything well. The box was coming apart and the salami was all mashed up and the casing on it broken. It looks and smells OK but I’ll not eat it until the doctor OKs it. Lord alone knows how long the casing was broken.
– 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.