This World War II Veteran Is Reuniting With His Former Girlfriend, 70 Years Later
Norwood Thomas and Joyce Morris shared a fairytale romance in 1944, when Norwood was 21 and Joyce was 17. Now, seven decades later, they're getting a chance to try it again.
The two of them met in a London suburb along the Thames. They had a whirlwind romance, but were torn apart by war when he was forced to leave the U.K. to fight in the Battle of Normandy. "I think I fell in love with the way that she smiled," Norwood told ABC News. "I'd always look at her and think, 'My God, that is one, sweet girl.'"
After Norwood moved back to America, he wrote to her and asked him to "come and make my house a home." But Joyce misunderstood the letter, making it seem like Norwood had married someone else but wanted to leave his wife for her. She ended things right there, breaking his heart.
They both married other people and had children; Joyce, now 88, is divorced and living in Australia, and Norwood, now 93, is a widower in Virginia. Norwood thought Joyce had died in a plane crash in the 1990s, because a list of victims had seemed like it included her. But Joyce had pondered what happened to Norwood from time to time, and asked her son, Rob, to help find him online. They found a newspaper story about him going skydiving on his 88th birthday, and Rob had the newspaper put the two in touch.
TheVirginian-Pilotfilmed the two of them chatting on Skype for nearly two hours. She still calls him Tommy, a nickname nobody has used since 1945. "I tell you what," Norwood told Joyce. "If you had come to the States when I asked, we would have been together for 70 years."
The couple's story went viral, with hundreds of people reaching out wanting to help reunite the long-lost lovers. A stranger who read theVirginian-Pilotarticle started a GoFundMe account to pay for the trip, and raised ,442 before freezing donations. Air New Zealand ended up paying for Norwood and Joyce's first-class tickets to Adelaide, Australia, where they will meet for the first time in decades. The rest of the donated money will go toward hotels, rental cars, and food.
Video: WWII 502nd PIR VET REUNITED WITH LOST GEAR
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