Real Rosie the Riveter, Naomi Parker Fraley, dead at 96

Naomi Parker Fraley, a California waitress who served as the model for Rosie the Riveter, died Saturday in Washington.

She was 96.

For decades, the identity behind the iconic symbol was unknown. A Michigan factory worker, Geraldine Hoff Doyle, identified herself as Rosie in the 1980s.

Fraley was finally recognized as the real Rosie in 2016 after being discovered by James J. Kimble, a professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

“She was just delighted that someone was willing to listen to her story and believe her,” Kimble told the Daily News Monday.

Rosie the Riveter and her plant
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Rosie the Riveter and her plant
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1942: Women workers install fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17 bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif. Better known as the 'Flying Fortress,' the B-17F is a later model of the B-17, which distinguished itself in action in the south Pacific, Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude, heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men, and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
circa 1945: A female factory worker wearing trousers with her hair tucked into a scarf uses a screwdriver to work on a part in a manufacturing plant, 1940s. (Photo by Lambert/Getty Images)
circa 1943: One American female worker drives rivets into an aircraft while another sits in the cockpit on the US home front during World War II. They wear aprons and their hair tucked into scarves. Women who went to work in industries to aid the war effort became known under the moniker 'Rosie the Riveter'. (Photo by Harold M. Lambert/Lambert/Getty Images)
Rita,, 1942. (Photo by Howard R. Hollem/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
African American female riveter wearing kerchief on head & sitting on huge piece of machinery during WWII, perfectly illustrating Rosie the Riveter-type; at Lockheed Aircraft Corp. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/Women'S Bureau/National Archives/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Singer Judy Canova holding drill gun to head (a la Rosie the Riveter), at wing construction station during WWII. (Photo by George Karger/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Singer Judy Canova using drill gun a la Rosie the Riveter, at wing construction station during WWII. (Photo by George Karger/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

The Tulsa, Ohlahoma native began working in the machine shop at the Naval Air Station in Alameda shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor December 1941.

A year later, she posed for a photo in the now-legendary red-and-white polka dot bandana.

In 2011, Fraley attended a reunion of “Rosies,” where she saw that the “We Can Do It!” poster was being credited to Doyle.

“She tried to correct them and she hit a brick wall,” Kimble told The News.

“Her identity had been stolen.”

Eventually, he was able prove that Fraley was, in fact, the real Rosie, which he reported in a 2016 article in Rhetoric & Public Affairs.

“I just wanted my own identity,” Fraley told People that year.

“I didn’t want fame or fortune, but I did want my own identity.”

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