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Dear Ms. Newton,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
IBM punch cards had 80 columns. Depending on what they were used for, some of the column groupings would include names of individuals, locations, etc. All letters were in caps. Most of the time there were number groupings of various sizes that signified items listed in a codebook. Without the codebook, the number groupings were meaningless.
View Access to Archival Databases (AAD) for examples of Vietnam-era databases from IBM punch cards.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Thank you Rebecca. I have begun to think the best plan is just to request my dad's records through the National Archives. The IMB cards were his personnel records, flight history, that sort of thing.