When I found my great-uncle Mandell Newmark's army enlistment record at Ancestry.com, under Civil Occupation it said: BANDSMAN, OBOE or PARTS CLERK, AUTOMOBILE.
When I showed this to my parents, they scratched their heads in bewilderment. Everyone knew that he had worked in a local clothing store. Mandell was killed in action in 1945, and while his two brothers survived the war, both are now deceased. However, a close friend and classmate of Mandell's survives, and she has remained in touch with our family over the years. She also has no recollection of Mandell playing a musical instrument.
I found a list of Civil Occupation Codes at a Kansas GenWeb site, which cites the National Archives as its source.
One mistake I made was reading the entry as two answers. BANDSMAN, OBOE or PARTS CLERK, AUTOMOBILE is only one answer. Code: 175. If you fell in either category, you got the same code.
There are other weird combinations.
Code 022 is BARBER or LAWYER. (Some barbers used to be known for 'bleeding you dry', but they used a razor.)
Code 042 is CAMERA REPAIRMAN or CHIROPRACTOR (because repairing your back is the same as repairing your camera.)
Code 024 is BLACKSMITH or BAND OR ORCHESTRA LEADER (Band leader.) or MUSICIAN, INSTRUMENTAL (Bandsman.) or BANDSMAN, CLARINET or BANDSMAN, CORNET OR TRUMPET or BANDSMAN, DRUM, BASS or BANDSMAN, DRUM, SNARE or BANDSMAN, EUPHONIUM OR BARITONE or BANDSMAN, FLUTE OR PICCOLO or BANDSMAN, FRENCH HORN or BANDSMAN, SAXOPHONE or BANDSMAN, TROMBONE or BANDSMAN, TUBA
I am unable to explain why the Oboe isn't under code #024. And what is a Blacksmith doing there?
CLERK, CLOTHING STORE, unsurprisingly, doesn't have a code. It's likely the enlistment official was told to choose a category they thought to be closest. In their position, I might have decided, depending upon my uncle's duties: 055 - CLERK, GENERAL, or more likely, another interesting combination: 170 - ENGINEERING AIDE (DESIGNATED FIELD) or SALES CLERK.
There was also the choice 010 - NOT ELSEWHERE CLASSIFIED (But I suspect this category was discouraged.)
Final note: It just occurred to me the Ancestry.com enlistment records don't show the images for the original documents. Someone hand entered all the data, and probably read the code on the document, looked the code up on the chart, and typed out what it meant. Depending upon handwriting a 170 could look like a 175.