Kilroy Was Here

kilroy

Don’t deny it. You know you’ve done it. Wanting nothing more than to make your mark in the big wide world, you’ve scribbled So and So Was Here on a wall, piece of wood, napkin, bathroom stall, etc. You stand back admiring your work and think ‘boy, how clever am I?’. Eh, not so much. There’s a much more clever (cleverer?) scribbler than you. His name is Kilroy.

James Kilroy was a shipyard inspector during WWII. After inspecting each newly constructed kilroy planeship he would chalk his signature phrase on a bulkhead to prove that he had been there and all the rivets were accounted for. It completely baffled the troops. Somehow this ‘Kilroy’ was popping up in places no one had been before so they took up the baton and started placing their Super GI in every location they went. Competitions sprang up to see who could place him in the wackiest places. It’s said Kilroy has visited Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arc de Triumphe, and the moon. But the most daring turn up of Kilory was during a meeting of the Big Three in Potsdam, Germany 1945. Truman, Attlee, and Stalin had exclusive use of a marble bathroom, off limits to everyone else. First one in, Stalin came out sputtering in Russian, ‘Who is Kilroy?’”

These days, Kilroy makes his home in our nation’s capital at the WWII Memorial. Next time you’re there take a stroll around the beautiful water and pillars honoring those who fought for our freedom and keep a sharp eye out for the little guy. I’ll give you a hint: walk around the back because he’s kinda shy.

wwii memorial

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8 Comments

  1. Barbara Lynn Culler

    I’ve heard about him and seen the character- very popular in my youth. Kind of reminds me of the character Ziggy

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      He does look like Ziggy! Not sure if Ziggy ever got to meet Stalin …

      Reply
  2. Joanne Sher

    I may be the only person who saw the title of this and got a Queen song stuck in my head.

    But I’d heard of him too (and not just from the song! LOL) – but, as usual, I learned something new here.

    Thanks for the post!

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Must be a Queen song I don’t know! Now I have to go and find it.

      Reply
  3. Dora Hiers

    Kilroy, huh? We just got back from DC last weekend, but it was a whirlwind trip. Next time we visit we’ll have to look for ole Kilroy. What a prankster! Always a pleasure to visit your blog, J’nell. 🙂

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Too bad I didn’t know you were in the area sooner, I could have pointed him out to you since I live in the area.

      Reply
  4. Karla Akins

    You always have the most informative, fascinating posts! And this one was fun, too.

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Thanks Karla! I’ll try to keep ’em coming.

      Reply

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