Naomi Parker Fraley, the inspiration for the iconic female World War II factory worker Rosie the Riveter, has died. She was 96.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native, who was born on August 26, 1921, died on Saturday in Longview, Washington, according to the New York Times. The California waitress-turned-factory worker began her job at the Naval Air Station in Alameda and was among the first women to be assigned to the machine shop after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941.

Then in 1942, 20-year-old Fraley posed for a photograph wearing her signature red-and-white-polka-dot bandana and working on a turret lathe, for a photographer touring the Naval Air Station, where she and younger sister Ada drilled and patched airplane wings as well as operated rivet machines.

The picture was quickly featured in newspapers and magazines nationwide before it caught the eye of artist J. Howard Miller, whose 1943 Rosie the Riveter poster bears a striking resemblance to Fraley’s photo, even down to the exact bandana.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here