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The Legend of 'Kilroy was here' was started inadvertently by a shipyard inspector during WWII named James J. Kilroy , who used the logo to indicate his inspection of riveting in the newly constructed troop ships was complete.
To the unfortunate troops outbound in those ships, however, he was a complete mystery ... all they knew for sure was that he had 'been there first'. As a joke, they began placing the graffiti wherever they (the US forces) landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived.
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