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Kilroy was here


Kilroy was here

By
John William Tuohy

 Kilroy was here The term "Kilroy was here" made its way around the World during the Second World War via American Servicemen, who scribbled the slogan from Berlin to Tokyo. "Kilroy was here" became the calling card of the American serviceman, along the way someone drew a long nosed cartoon to go along with the slogan and it became part of the message.
The slogan/drawing was used by us soldiers as a code of sorts, there was even murder case in London, England, in which the killer scrawled "Kilroy was here" in the victim’s blood on their apartment walls after killing them. A check by Detectives found that a man named Kilroy recently released from a mental asylum lived on the same street as the victims, was arrested and admitted to the murders. What perplexed the murderer was why it had taken the police a whole month to catch him.
 After the war a transit company held a contest to find the original source of the slogan. So many contestants entered the contest that a prize was given to the person who could prove beyond a doubt that he or she was in fact the real Kilroy of the slogan.
Among those who entered was, James F Kilroy of Halifax, Massachusetts. Shipyard officials supported Killjoy’s that he was in fact the real Kilroy. Kilroy won the contest and walked away with the prize, which was a trolley car, which Kilroy converted into a playhouse for his children.

James Kilroy served as a Boston City Councilman and state Legislature in the 1930's, representing Roxbury. When war broke out, Kilroy was too old to serve in active service and took a job at the Fall River shipyard as a checker counting the rivets driven in by each worker who were paid by the piece. "After I counted the rivets I would make a check mark in chalk so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice by another inspector, but the riveter's were smart, they would wait until I had left and then erase the chalk marks, so I came up with "Kilroy was here” to ensure that they didn't erase the whole things, the chalk marks were mainly in the hulls of troops ships so G.I's going overseas would see them and then bring the mark with them wherever they went"  

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