Naomi Parker Fraley was just 20-years-old when she began working at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
She and her younger sister, Ada, were assigned the task of drilling and patching airplane wings and riveting. During one of their shifts, a photographer touring the station snapped a photo of Fraley working on a vertical turret lathe, a red-and-white polka-dot bandana atop her head.
It was this photo, soon published in newspapers around the country, that inspired one of the most famous symbols for female empowerment and strength, eventually known as “Rosie the Riveter.”
Unfortunately, Fraley’s family confirmed that the inspiration for Rosie passed away at the age of 96.
In 2015, Fraley sat down for an interview with People, where she discussed how important “Rosie the Riveter” ended up becoming in a time where the country needed heroes. She said at the time, “The women of this country these days need some icons. If they think I’m one, I’m happy about that.”