Kilroy was Here

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Phil Cross
Posts: 57
Joined: October 30th, 2014, 2:33 pm

Kilroy was Here

Postby Phil Cross » October 15th, 2016, 10:00 pm

He is engraved in stone in the National War Memorial in Washington, DC,

Back in a small alcove where very few people have seen it.

For the WWII generation, this will bring back memories.

For you younger folks, it's a bit of trivia that is a part of our American history.

Anyone born in 1913 to about 1950, is familiar with Kilroy.

No one knew why he was so well known, but everybody seemed to get into it.

So who was Kilroy?

In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program,

"Speak to America," sponsored a nationwide contest to

Find the real Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person

Who could prove himself to be the genuine article.

Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim,

But only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts,

Had evidence of his identity.

'Kilroy' was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the

War who worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard

In Quincy. His job was to go around and check on the

Number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and

Got paid by the rivet. He would count a block of rivets and

Put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk,

So the rivets wouldn't be counted twice.

When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would erase the mark.

Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through

And count the rivets a second time,

Resulting in double pay for the riveters.

One day Kilroy's boss called him into his office.

The foreman was upset about all the wages being paid

To riveters, and asked him to investigate. It was then

He realized what had been going on. The tight spaces he

Had to crawl in to check the rivets didn't lend themselves to

Lugging around a paint can and brush, so Kilroy decided to

Stick with the waxy chalk. He continued to put his check

Mark on each job he inspected, but added


In king-sized letters next to the check, and eventually

Added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering

Over the fence and that became part of the Kilroy message.

Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe

Away his marks. Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks

Would have been covered up with paint. With the war on,

However, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast

That there wasn't time to paint them. As a result,

Kilroy's inspection "trademark" was seen by thousands of

Servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced.

His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen,

Because they picked it up and spread it all over

Europe and the South Pacific.

Before war's end, "Kilroy" had been here, there,

And everywhere on the long hauls to Berlin and Tokyo.

To the troops outbound in those ships, however,

He was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was

That someone named Kilroy had "been there first."

As a joke, U.S. Servicemen began placing the graffiti

Wherever they landed, claiming it was

Already there when they arrived.

Kilroy became the U.S. Super-GI who had always

"already been" wherever GIs went. It became a challenge

To place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable

It is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty,

The underside of the Arc de Triomphe,

And even scrawled in the dust on the mo

As the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition

Teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held Islands in the

Pacific to map the terrain for coming invasions by

U.S. Troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI's there).

On one occasion, however, they reported seeing

Enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!

In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Roosevelt,

Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam conference.

Its' first occupant was Stalin, who emerged and

Asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is Kilroy?"

To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy

Brought along officials from the shipyard and some

Of the riveters. He won the trolley car, which he gave to

his nine children as a Christmas gift and set it up as a

playhouse in the Kilroy yard in Halifax, Massachusetts.

And The Tradition Continues...

EVEN Outside Osama Bin Laden's House!!!

Dave Kellett
Posts: 119
Joined: March 4th, 2016, 7:57 pm

Re: Kilroy was Here

Postby Dave Kellett » March 9th, 2017, 6:36 am

Great reading, and so believable :lol:

Dave Kellett
Posts: 119
Joined: March 4th, 2016, 7:57 pm

Re: Kilroy was Here

Postby Dave Kellett » March 9th, 2017, 9:33 am

On having second thoughts, I think he has been reincarnated as an LMA inspector AKA Phil Clark (Fighteraces) :lol: :lol: :D

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