30 May 2014

Update on a Weight of 999

An earlier post mentioned unusual heights and weights in a database (U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946") at Ancestry.com. It turns out that the original data was the problem and the problem is noted on the "more about" page for the database on Ancestry.com.

The data from which the database was created is also discussed on the National Archives website along with a notation that the National Archives does not make the "height and weight" data available on their version of the database.

Theodore J. Hull's 'The World War II Army Enlistment Records File and Access to Archival Databases" (which appeared in the Spring 2006 issue of Prologue available online also), states in part that:

"Over time the enlistment card format changed, and the height and weight or military occupational specialty categories were recorded in the same columns on the original punch cards. Because there is no easy way to distinguish original data recorded on the two forms, NARA chose to drop that data..."
 Based upon this it appears that there is good reason not to include the height and weight data.