Kilroy Was Here: WWII’s Proto-Meme

There are dozens of legends surrounding the iconic “Kilroy Was Here” graffiti. The Kilroy doodle saw the height of its fame during the Second World War and the Korean War and has been spotted around the world.


Some believe Kilroy is an icon for a fabled “Super GI” who was always the first on the scene wherever GIs went, and the last to leave. It became a challenge for subscribers to this particular take on Kilroy to scribe the doodle in unlikely or remote places, like Mt. Everest or the underside of the Arch de Triumphe.


There is also lore attesting that Kilroy was a real person, an army inspector who signed Kilroy Was Here upon approval.

He’s also been spotted in many more modern venues, including Seinfeld.


Also, allusions to Kilroy in other media (maybe? or am I just seeing patterns now..)

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