WWII Kilroy Was Here Sightings

"Kilroy Was Here" Sightings page 3

Some time in the early 1940's, someone first scribbled these famous words. We don't know how many millions of times this simple graffiti appeared during WWII or the Korean War but we do know that Kilroy Was Here is still finding it's way on to any vertical surface. These are the sightings from then and that continue now.

I did follow Kilroy all over Europe

Kilroy in Stone

By Harold Seckinger

From Costa Rica

Kilroy Meets Smoe and Luke the Spook

Click the image for a complete view

Kilroy on a jacket


ELMO as Kilroy

on a jacket


I always loved history growing up as a kid. I read plenty of books about all the wars the United States was involved in. World War II was always so captivating. Especially reading about all the sacrifices and hardships our boys endured. All of it is just impossible to imagine and truly understand.

One of the few amusing stories that I remembered about WWII involved Kilroy.

I work for a company that produces Licensed Children’s apparel. So when our design team was told that they had to come up with a sticker to get across the point that a specific jacket we were making was reversible, I suggested that they use Elmo in a “Kilroy” inspired pose.

Naturally, no one knew what or who I was talking about. I googled Kilroy and came across your web site. Everyone enjoyed reading Kilroy’s story and all the theories about how Kilroy came about. Personally I would believe Legend #1 as the most likely.

I have attached a copy of the final approved Sesame Street/Elmo sticker, inspired by Kilroy, that will be used on our Reversible Jackets for sale in Fall 2008.

Thank you for a great web site.

Sincerely yours,

Albert Solano


on the wing


Kilroy Was There
on the rifle range . . .


Don Schlafke

Click the image for a larger view

Click the image for larger image

The ultimate and certainly the prettiest!

The Ultimate Kilroy spotted in Iraq


The attached picture from Iraq is the ultimate "Kilroy was here" sighting. My co-worker, LTC Jim Rozzi, deployed with the 3ID to Baghdad from Jan 2005 to Sep 2005 and took this picture. He claims the name tag is real. Perhaps this Marine could help promote the stamp. I think the Kilroy Was Here stamp is a great idea and is certainly part of our unique military culture. More later.

Bill Coffey

You're right! Thanks to both of you! She is a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. If anyone knows her, contact the editor.

Kosher Kilroy Spotted

I've contributed a couple of time (sightings page 3), but here's a new one I never thought I'd see. It's from www.koshernosh.com a delightful source that translates Yiddish (American style) food with tongue very firmly in cheek. Hope you can use it. I think it's charming.

Keep up the good work and continued good wishes,

Dan Arnold

"It ain't th' things ya don't know that hurt ya'. It's th' things ya know that ain't so."

We will remain interested in any new visits by Kilroy, as always. They are entertaining and instructive. Who can ask for more?

Gary Harmon


Kilroy Strikes again in 2006 . . . and again in 2007


75mm Howitzer secretly repainted

Kilroy is everywhere

Kilroy Meets Puff the Magic Dragon

Kilroy on bathroom walls


One of the best Kilroy Was Here scribbles!

By Ray Rauanheimo
Maj(Ret), USA

One of the oldest examples of Kilroy Was here humor I can recall is:

Penciled on a toilet stall wall,

"Clap my hands and jump for joy;
I was here before Kilroy."

Below, in a different hand,

"Sorry to spoil your little joke;
I was here, but my pencil broke.

Enjoyed your site,

Kilroy Remembered in Construction from Alaska to Washington DC.

I grew up working construction for my fathers company. About 1978, one of dad’s engineer’s sent a blueprint out with a Kilroy drawn on the roof peak line. (The engineer & my father both served in WWII.) When we got to that portion of the building installing our pipes, we ran the lift up to the bottom of the roof and drew the Kilroy in place as shown on the print.

It became a tradition and for the last 30 years, at least once on every job, up above a ceiling, behind a cabinet, under the floor, I leave a Kilroy. In the mid 1980s I was helping weld some pipe headed for a job in Alaska. For practice, I welded the Kilroy figure on a 12 inch piece of scrap and, for kicks, we threw it into the shipping container with the tons of other pipe. Some months later the installer thanked me because they had been 12 inches short on a section and it was just the right length. Kilroy Was Here, in the form of my piece is now permanently in place above the ceiling of a school in Kodiak.

There is one welded underneath my brother’s home built trailer, which I helped build. When people comment on his design, he will have them lay down on the ground and slide under to show them Kilroy Was Here.

I still work in the same field of construction, My company name is C-CAD (Calkins-Consulting And Design). I’ve worked for many companies over the last 30 years, (almost all in this same industry,) Kilroy has been the one constant.but now I design the drawings on computer and send them out for field installation. I have created an AutoCAD hatch that I use on every drawing. It consists of Kilroy along with a Pacman, (to bring it into the computer age and “make it my own.”)

Summer 2006, I was in Washington DC installing some Italian cabinets at the downtown Hyatt hotel; Kilroy is now located in several places behind the new millwork. In about 5 or 6 years, the millwork will probably be replaced & upgraded & Kilroy will be there waiting.

Clarence Calkins

on the wing


Kilroy spotted at the airport in
Stuttgart, Germany


Don Schlafke

Click the image for a larger view

"Kilroy Was Stuck Here"

Racing to Bastogne

By Wallace (Woody) Wood, a retired newsman (and still misses the business)

From "Slightly Out of Focus," by Robert Capa, published in 1947

Robert Capa's most famous photo of a Spanish Civil War soldier taken at the instant of his death. Click the image for a larger view

Taken by Capa of the long march to save Bastogne. Picture courtesy EVE'S MAGAZINE

Robert Capa, the famed war photographer was riding with the 4th. Armored, hell-bent to rescue the 101st Airborne Division before Christmas, 1944 when he wrote this.

"The 101st was at the time surrounded by German troops in the vital French crossroads town of Bastogne. The Americans were greatly inconveniencing the Germans trying to advance in what is now called The Battle of the Bulge."

"The combat team with which I rode was commanded by Lt. Col. Abrams. He looked like a cigar-smoking Jewish king ( Editor: remember it's Christmas) and swore that he would be the first to reach the town.

"Late next afternoon, after much fighting, we reached a hilltop. Bastogne lay below us, only three thousand yards and two thousand Germans away. Abrams lined up his tanks side by side and ordered a charge. He told his men to keep on going and keep on shooting, without stopping to aim until they reached the town below. "

Smudgy picture of the D-Day landing at Normandy. A LIFE darkroom man ruined about 150 negatives taken by Capa of the invasion.

"McAuliffe, the commander of the 101st, the general who had said, 'Nuts" to the Germans when they asked him to surrender, was quite polite. 'It's good to see you, colonel,' he greeted Abrams. He wasn't kidding."

"On the black, charred walls of an abandoned barn, scrawled in white chalk, was the legend of McAuliffe's GI's :

Capa was working for LIFE Magazine at the time of the Battle of the Bulge crisis at Bastogne. But Capa doesn't say if he took a picture of the Kilroy Was Here — though he took thousands. It might be among the Army PR "pool" pictures of Bastogne ---- since the Army robbed Capa and other photographers of much credit by forcing the pool. Capa lost his job with Colliers Magazine after every newspaper in America ran his first pictures of the paratroopers invasion of Sicily from the PR pool and Colliers got no exclusive.

Capa avoided being shipped home jobless by having his buddy, writer Ernie Pyle, sneak pictures out to LIFE and bypass the evil pool. It was a different time with different rules -- and different ways of getting around them. His buddies, Ernie Pyle, "Papa" Hemingway, and other famous writers helped him out -- as did the Army PR man who covered for him when he was jobless and later stole his girl, 'Pinky'.

----- Woody (Wallace Wood)

Kilroy spotted On-Line

Kilroy with Girl Genius!

From Alexandru Bucur

Click image for a larger view
I was reading trough the archives of an online graphic novel called "Girl Genius", and stumbled upon this page:


Look at the first panel, the grafitti on the bridge, just above the monster's hands....

Identity concealed to protect the guilty!

The legend is perpetuated


Romanian Kilroymania


Alexandru Bucur

Peering from pockets


Kilroy as Peekie was Here (in shirt pockets.)



Peekie Thanks to: Fox Valley History

Click the image for a larger view
Kilroy Remembered at Albuquerque International
Balloon Fiesta

Thanks to the photographer, Erica Grong

Sighting from the BBC

Created: 22nd January 2001

This a partial reprint of the article by the same name by the BBC. To read the entire story, see:

Slightly bawdy but a wonderful story

Kilroy in Korea!

By Jack West as told to Daniel Arnold

Here's the story I promised you, as told to me by Jack West. I enjoyed it so much I felt I had to pass it along. I'll tell it in Jack's voice.

Back in the day, our outfit was one of the first to reach the 38th. The brass figured that we might run into some

Jack West

Typical Hooch

unpleasant surprises when we moved into North Korea, so they ordered out night patrols to scout ahead of the main force. My squad was one of the ones that got picked.

There was just a half dozen of us and we had a Korean guy with us to interpret in case we needed him. We wandered around not seeing much for about two hours. Finally we came across a little

cluster of hooches. They were all dark except for one where we could see a little light. So the sarge figured we should check it out.

When we rushed in, I figured we'd get the usual screaming and shouting, but instead the only person we found was an attractive female who stood with her hands on her hips and angrily spouted something in Korean. Our interpretor said, "She wants to know why we came back.

She said he promised we'd leave here alone." Of course, none of us had the slightest idea what she was talking about, but in short order our interpreter explained. She claimed that she had been visited two days before by an American who had said we were coming and that she would not have any trouble because she had "helped" him.

Of course, we didn't believe a word of it, but she had proof. As

Typical Hooch
she angrily gestured with one hand for us to get out, with the other she swept back the bottom of her dress. There it was, written across her underwear for all the world to see..."KILROY WAS HERE!"

Sighting from England



Whilst serving in the Royal Air Force I came across "Kilroy" many times. The most memorable was this one.


Representation of the original sighting

But was he Schmoe?

Kilroy Remembered

As a grade schooler, I accompanied my father to several Army bases in the early days of WWII before he shipped over. On many a surface I say "Kilroy was here", but without an accompanying drawing. The drawing, when it did appear, (almost invariably in men's rooms) always had "Schmoe is watching you" beneath it. It appears to me that the two got blended somewhere along the line. Given the implications of the word Schmoe (schmo, shmo, etc) and the face peering over a partition (between stalls?), I find the combination particularly amusing and typically GI

Mr. Arnold and son Daniel in WWII
Click image for a larger view

Bear in mind my age, so I may be completely off base, but while I can buy the James Kilroy story (I've had the same urge), I can't buy his taking the time to add the drawing, or wanting to, since Schmoe was the guy who peaked over bathroom partitions at you. Only a guy who's been in the military, or similar situation, can fully appreciate the lack of privacy expressed by the drawing. As I said before, I saw the Kilroy message often w/o the drawing many times, but the drawing was always accompanied by a note that "Schmoe (variations on spelling) is watching you" until well in to the late '40's when I began to see him appear w/ Kilroy and Schmoe's name slowly seemed to disappear. I can't help but feel that the two were gradually unintentionally melded somehow.

Daniel Arnold

BTW, on your site I found a reference to a character very similar to Schmoe who seems to have first appeared in England some years before, usually with the legend "what no _____(whatever was missing) (See Gary Bainbridge's story.) At another spot on your site I found "Kilroy" on the side of a British glider with the legend "What no motor?" A possible link?

Daniel Arnold

Daniel, thanks for the information. We have heard about Schmoe but haven't been able to pin anything down. In the most accepted version of the beginning (James Kilroy . . . See Volume 1 page 1.) it seems that the drawing, in addition to the words, was there to prove that he had been there. The drawing being more difficult to fake,

If you have more, let me know. Any idea where Schmoe came from?
By the way, Chad and Herbie are well represented on KilroyWasHere. See:

Kilroy and Chad were everywhere By Eric Shackle
Canada's Kilroy, Herbie By Robert Mullin

Click Image for full view

Kilroy In IRAQ!

Dear Editor,

I found Kilroy, He is alive and well and apparently in Iraq. I found him on the side of an old Iraqi aircraft hangar in Al Taqaddum Airbase in Iraq. Al Taqaddum is situated about seven miles from Fallujah and 35 miles west of Baghdad. He's been there ever since we showed up. No one knows how he got there either. They all say they always remember Kilroy being on the side of the hangar.

Capt. Martin Starta
United States Marine Corps

Editor's Note:
This is great! I have been told about sightings in Iraq and Afghanistan but yours is the first picture.

By the way, you guys are doing a great job over there! You make me prouder than ever to be a recovering Jarhead (Korean War vintage flyboy.) I would have saluted you then because I barely made it to 1st Lt. in my 2.5 years. I salute you now because of what you and your buddies are doing and enduring for all of us.

The origins if this Kilroy

I was surfing the web and surprised to find the picture of Kilroy that my platoon and I painted over the bunker that we lived in for our first 3 months in Iraq. I served with Det 2 Co A of the 142nd ECB of the North Dakota Army Nat'l Guard. We were deployed from Jan of 2003 until Apr of 2004. I'm glad to see that our Kilroy is still around.

SSG Charles A. Votava

Kilroy in home built in 1800s
. . . but Kilroy wasn't there until the 1950s.

My cousin, Dick and his wife Marion, inherited a house from her parents. Today he started to remove asbestos from the heating system in the cellar. I went down to view the project and saw KILROY drawn upon a doorway that led into the root cellar. I asked him about it. He said his wife's dad, Ray Ryder was in the

Kilroy in 1800s home. Click image for larger view

Signal Corps inWW2 and that it was him who drew the sketch on the door sometime in the 1950s. I thought you might be interested . . . I was THRILLED to spot it!! Another "Kilroy was sighted again." This was in an old farmhouse built in the 1800s in Gorham, Maine.

John (Hoppy) Hopkins

Kilroy Was Here engraved in a remote corner . . . where he would want to be!
Click image for a larger view
Remembering Kilroy at the
WWII Memorial

Editors Note: Those of you who contributed to the building of the WWII Memorial through KilroyWasHere.org with recall that the printable form had a check box where you could ask that Kilroy be remembered at the WWII Memorial. They promised that he would be and asked us to take it down when they had enough money! Here is a letter from the first person to spot him! Our thanks to Paul.

Paul Karlin wrote:

We just visited the new World War II memorial in Washington DC. In a hidden area in back, quite professionally engraved into the stone, was a "Kilroy was here" - we didn't know the origin or background until we found this website.

Click image for a larger view

In this photo I'm standing near 17th Street looking west, and the Washington Monument is behind me. The yellow arrow is pointing at Kilroy's location. Kilroy is on the outer edge of the WWII memorial, outside the ring of columns. The easiest way to find him is to exit the memorial from the tower marked "Pacific" (south side), turn right, and follow the narrow outer walkway along the columns. Just after the columns end there is a small service area, and Kilroy will be right in front of you. For reference, if you continue north along the walkway, you'll walk between the wall of gold stars and the reflecting pool for the Lincoln Memorial.



And Again!

Hello again. My name is Todd and we've "met" before. You were so kind as to help to share my grandfathers story on your fantastic site. (See Why Me?.) I read the story "Remembering Kilroy at the WWII Memorial". In the story, written by Paul, he tells of how he found Kilroy at the Memorial in Washington, D.C. I just recently had the opportunity to visit myself. I found Kilroy -- both of them. As it turns out, there are two Kilroy Was Here messages at the WWII Memorial. They are both on the back side, close to the reflecting pool. It's like a little alcove, with a gate, and I guess it's where the circuit breakers and things are that control the lights and water pumps are. Anyway, the second one is in an identical position as the first one, just on the other side. Sorry, I didn't have a camera, besides it looks just like the one you already have a picture of. I carry my mental picture with me always. Keep up the good work.

Thank you,
Todd A. Wise

And Again!

I recently had the privilege of visiting the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. While taking a picture of two of my son’s by the “Pennsylvania” pillar, my oldest son, a Lieutenant in AMED, pointed to an engraving in a fenced off area adjacent to the pillar. There respectfully included as a lasting part of the memorial was “Kilroy Was Here”, complete with the famous cartoon face and fingers.

There are actually two engravings, one on each of the granite headers over the steps leading down to a service area behind the “Freedom Wall”. If you’d like, I have pictures and will gladly send them for inclusion in your site.

As an aside for those who, upon hearing this, may take exception to including these engravings as part of the monument, I would like to add that, like most of the Kilroy drawings found throughout WWII, the engravings are “hidden”. But, just like their predecessors, these engravings help underscore for the visitor that the heroes we honor were ordinary men and women who were asked to do the extraordinary while seeing things that, for you and I, are unimaginable. These incredible people did what was asked of them and left their mark on a world made a little better, simply because of their devotion to freedom.


Richard M. Attilio

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Screenshot of Game. Click Image for a larger view
I wrote once before with a MASH sighting and now I have another one. This one comes from "Return to Castle Wolfenstein", a World War II-themed PC game. The premise is you are Army Ranger B.J. Blazcowicz and you are an operative assigned to covert duty in Nazi Germany. This screen shot comes from the opening level where you must escape from the dungeon and make your way out of the castle. The Kilroy drawing appears on the cell wall where the level begins. I thought it was a nice
touch for the software developers to include Kilroy in the game. Credit for the screen shot should go to Activision and id Software.


Eric Harwell

Gunny R. Lee Ermey explains the Kilroy legend on the very popular History Channel show, Mail Call.

Click the stars below for a streaming video of the clip from the show. Shown with permission. Thanks to www.rleeermey.com and www.historychannel.com

Submitted by many many readers but thanks to Tom Kercher for grabbing the clip!

Gunny Ermey explains the Kilroy Legend

Click either of the top 2 stars to view the video clip if you are using a dial up connection (faster download but poor quality.)
Click either of these 2 star to view the video clip if you are using faster connection (DSL or cable) for larger better quality video.

Be Patient! These are large files!

Select Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Select Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean
Real Player
Select Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Select Star WWII Kilroy Was Here Korean

Real Player

WWII Kilroy Was Here Sightings Horizontal Line

WWII Kilroy Was Here Sightings Home Button

E-Mail to the Webmaster/EditorWWII Kilroy Was Here Sightings Write Webmaster


Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search