A Tasmanian woman whose portrait remains in the Australian War Memorial's collection as an official image of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) in World War II has passed away.

Gloria Gwendolyn Grace served as a corporal in the Second World War after enlisting in New Norfolk in 1943.

Ms Grace died in her aged care home in Melbourne on Tuesday, at the age of 88.

Family friend, Tasmanian Ron Ruthven, says official Australian war artist Harold Freedman went to great lengths to find Ms Grace to paint her. Mr Ruthven says Freedman passed her in a train station and decided she would become the face of the WAAAF.

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