Many of the recipients were deceased WW1 veterans. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Gerrit
A computer error lead to thousands of conscription letters being mailed out to men born in the 1800s.
The error, which was related to the Y2K bug, saw thousands of conscription letters being sent out from the US Selective Service System to the families of men who had died several decades ago.
The letters insisted that the men register for the US military or face a hefty fine and imprisonment. Shocked relatives, such as 73-year-old Chuck Huey whose grandfather had died in 1995 at the age of 100, couldn't believe their eyes when the letters arrived.
"It said he was subject to heavy fines and imprisonment if he didn't sign up for the draft board," he said. "We were just totally dumbfounded."
The error was eventually traced to the Pennsylvania department of transportation where a clerk had failed to enter a century during a transfer of more than 400,000 records, prompting the system to identify 27,218 men born in the 1800s who it deemed to be applicable for a conscription notice.
"Selective Service regrets any inconvenience caused the families of these men and assures them that the error has been corrected and no action is required on their part," the service wrote on its website.
Source: The Guardian | Comments (25)