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Naomi Parker-Fraly

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "SEVENTY-EIGHT years ago, a poster of a young woman in a red and white polka dot bandanna with the caption We Can Do It! appeared on factory walls in the United States to inspire the army of young female workers supporting the country’s war effort.
    Until two years ago, the woman who was the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter – depicted with sleeves rolled up and fist clenched – was thought to be a Michigan woman named Geraldine Hoff Doyle.
    But the real identity of the young woman who inspired artist J Howard Miller to produce an image that went on to become an icon of the feminist movement kept people guessing for years.
    Naomi Parker Fraley would have died in relative obscurity were it not for the efforts of James Kimble, an American professor, who spent six years tracking down the real Rosie.
    Eventually he found an original copy of the photograph the artist had used. Glued to the back was a caption in the photographer’s own words.
    It said: “Pretty Naomi Parker looks like she might catch her nose in the turret lathe she is operating.”
    Professor Kimble recalls this as an “astonishing moment – who was this forgotten Rosie? Parker’s name was completely unknown to me”.
    In 2015 he finally tracked her down and discovered that she too had a captioned original of the photograph.
    Proud that her image was the basis for the poster that had become a rallying cry of women everywhere, Fraley was distressed that it was routinely labelled with Doyle’s name.
    “I didn’t want fame or fortune,” she said later. “But I did want my own identity.”
    Dr Kimble announced his findings in an academic journal in 2016 to the delight of Fraley who said: “The women of this country these days need some icons.
    “If they think I’m one I’m happy about that. Rosie was all of us.”
    Born in Oklahoma she was one of the first women to be hired to work in the machine shop repairing aircraft at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941."
    lwd likes this.

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