Kilroy Was Here!

Kilroy Was Here!

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“Kilroy Was Here” engraved on the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.

“Maybe you’ve bumped into Kilroy. He’s a bald (or balding) gentleman with a big nose, drawn peeking over a wall. Next to him is usually the phrase “Kilroy was here.” He can be found all over the world, and went viral long before social media or the Internet were around, finding his way through the theaters of war with American troops during World War II. (One of his most daring appearances may have been at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. During the summit, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin had exclusive use of a VIP bathroom. One day, Stalin reportedly used the facilities, and came out demanding to know from one of his aides who Kilroy was, having found the drawing on one of the walls.)”

“Kilroy Was Here” is a WWII slogan and graffiti by the American Army, the drawing based on the British “Mr Chad”, and sometimes coupled with images of pregnant women.

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1940s Vintage WWII “Kilroy Was Here” Hartland Plastics Pregnant Girl Figurine 

“Kilroy doesn’t appear to have originated entirely with U.S. servicemen, though. A similar doodle, known as Mr. Chad, was scrawled throughout Britain as a comment on shortages and rations during the war. Chad was similar in appearance to Kilroy, but was accompanied by a different message: “Wot? No tea?” (or whatever other goods were in short supply at the moment). Chad predates Kilroy by a few years, and may have been the created by British cartoonist George Chatterton in the late 1930s. As best as anyone can tell, at some point during the war, American soldiers borrowed Mr. Chad’s image and married it to their own name and phrase, ‘Kilroy was here.'”

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had already been wherever American soldiers went. It became a challenge for the troops to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (on top of Mt. Everest and the Statue of Liberty, on the underside of the Arch De Triumphe and even scrawled in the dust on the moon)

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Wisconsin Historical Markers: The Highground WWII Tribute: Kilroy Was Here

“If the man in the drawing was a variation of Mr. Chad, then where did the name Kilroy come from? While the Oxford English Dictionary writes Kilroy off as a mythical person, dozen of real people claimed to be the doodle’s namesake in 1946, when the American Transit Association (ATA) held a radio contest to establish the origin of the phrase. One of them was James J. Kilroy, who worked as at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts during the war inspecting the work done by others on the tanks and hulls of warships. As Kilroy explained to the ATA:

I started my new job with enthusiasm, carefully surveying every inner bottom and tank before issuing a contract. I was thoroughly upset to find that practically every test leader [the head of a work crew] I met wanted me to go down and look over his job with him, and, when I explained to him that I had already checked the job and could not spare the time to crawl through one of those tanks again, he would accuse me of not having looked the job over. I was getting sick of of being accused of not looking the jobs over and one day as I came through the manhole of a tank i had just surveyed, I angrily marked with yellow crayon on the tank top, where the tester could see it, ‘Kilroy was here.’ The following day, a test gang leader approached me with a grin on his face and said, ‘I see you looked my job over.’ I nodded in agreement.

Kilroy provided the ATA with corroborating statements from men he worked with at the shipyard, and said that he assumed that shipyard workers who had seen his mark and then joined the military took the phrase with them and began writing it in Europe. He won the contest and the grand prize, a full-size trolley street car. Just a few days before Christmas, the 12-ton car was delivered to Kilroy’s home in Halifax, MA, where it was attached to the house and used as living space for six of his nine children.”

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The “Kilroy Trolley Car” photo from the Boston American, December 23, 1946. Thanks to Brian Fitzgerald (James Kilroy’s grandson)

“Kilroy Was Here” is written in two locations on the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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“Clap my hands and jump for joy; I was here before Kilroy.
Sorry to spoil your little joke; I was here, but my pencil broke.” ~Kilroy
(from A Diller, a Dollar: Rhymes and Sayings For the Ten O’clock Scholar 1955)

Kilroy can also be seen at the end of my favorite WWII film “Kelly’s Heroes”>

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Spoiler Alert! Kilroy Was Here in “Kelly’s Heroes”

The 1983 Styx album titled “Kilroy Was Here” was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song, “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto” ends with the line “I’m Kilroy.”

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Check out these ceramic mugs with Kilroy!

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Flashback Friday! B-25 Restored Mitchell Navy Bomber Maiden Flight

FLASHBACK FRIDAY!
North American B-25 (Restored) Mitchell Navy Bomber Maiden Flight

Camarillo Air Field LIVE on Periscope (thanks to the Periscoper)
These are screenshots from the tarmac:

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From Wikipedia:
The B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. Named in honor of Major General William “Billy” Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation, they served in every theater of World War II and after the war remained in service for four decades. There are more than one hundred surviving North American B-25 Mitchells scattered around the world, mainly in the United States. Most of them are on static display in museums, but about 45 are still airworthy.

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Recently restored, according to the scope, this was the maiden flight and first time back in the air for this veteran aircraft. The plane flew three fly-bys, so here are a few good screenshots of the plane in the air:

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And here are a few historical shots from WWII of other B-25s (not my pics, obviously):

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WWII North American B-25 Mitchell Twin Engine Medium Bomber

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

Unless otherwise noted, all photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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North American B-25 Mitchell Twin Engine Medium Bomber (not my pic)

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05-JUL-13: 4th of July Mission

Fourth of July Mission over the San Fernando Valley!

4th of July Mission (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

4th of July Mission (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Heading back to Van Nuys Airport.

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06-JUN-13: D-Day!

This day in History. Remember the Veterans of all our wars today. d_dayimage1   order-of-the-day

The Flag of the United States of America

The Flag of the United States of America

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08-APR-13: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Washington D.C.

http://www.ushmm.org

“For the dead and the living we must bear witness”

Holocaust Remembrance Day is today: Monday, April 8, 2013.

Holocaust  Museum - Washington D.C.

Hall of Photographs at the Holocaust Memorial Museum – Washington D.C.

“NEVER AGAIN!”  Days of Remembrance, April 7–14, 2013

Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims. Holocaust remembrance week is April 7–14, 2013

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.  Located among our national monuments to freedom on the National Mall, the Museum provides a powerful lesson in the fragility of freedom, the myth of progress, and the need for vigilance in preserving democratic values.  The Museum teaches millions of people each year about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the need to prevent genocide.  And they are encouraged to act, cultivating a sense of moral responsibility among our citizens so that they will respond to the monumental challenges that confront our world.  Since its dedication in 1993, the Museum has welcomed more than 30 million visitors, including more than 9 million school children and 91 heads of state. Today 90 percent of the Museum’s visitors are not Jewish, and the museum’s website, the world’s leading online authority on the Holocaust, on average receives visits from over 100 different countries daily.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Eternal Flame - Washington D.C. (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Eternal Flame in the Hall of Remembrance – Washington D.C. (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

“Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life.  And you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children.”

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