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Kilroy – Alive and Well at 65

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Everyone who has ever been in the military is well aware of Kilroy, the long-nosed little man who always managed to get there first. Legend has it that Kilroy has adorned the walls of Liberty Ships, the Statue of Liberty, the Arc de Triomphe, the Marco Polo Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, and just about anywhere US troops managed to walk, wade, ride, fly or swim to in the Second World War. He was found at gas stations, bus stops, restaurants, and just about everywhere else one can imagine. He was even seen on beaches of Pacific Islands as Marines and GIs came ashore.

According to the Straight Dope website, the legend is attributed to one James J. Kilroy at the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard in Quincy, Mass. Mr. Kilroy was a welding or riveting inspector, who kept track of the work accomplished by marking it with a crayon. The welders (or riveters) started changing the marks, in order to get double-paid for their work. Eventually Mr. Kilroy made his work too elaborate to fake, and Kilroy was born.

After the war, the Transit Company of America held a contest to find the real Kilroy. Some forty applicants appeared with their stories, and Mr. Kilroy’s was judged the most credible. He won a trolley car that he placed in his yard for his children to use as a playhouse.

Well, Kilroy even made it here, to Kabul Afghanistan. Here he is, immortalized in a concrete sidewalk, at the Kabul Compound, a US military base. Like the Cavalry (or the Marines) First In! – Last Out!

Here are some links to Kilroy Facts and Legends:

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