Norwood Thomas arrived in Adelaide, Australia, on Wednesday
The American flew to Australia to be reunited with Joyce Morris, the woman he dated while stationed in England during World War II
Morris reconnected with Thomas last year after asking her son to find him online; the two set up a Skype date after that
The pair now plan to spend Valentine’s Day together
A 93-year-old World War II veteran from the United States embraced his wartime girlfriend in Australia in their reunion on Wednesday after over 70 years apart.
Norwood Thomas and 88-year-old Joyce Morris laughed as they wrapped their arms around each other after Thomas flew from Virginia to the southern Australian city of Adelaide to reconnect with his long-lost love.
“Here we are! Well you’re still vertical,” Morris said as Thomas entered the room.
“This is about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me,” Thomas said, in a reunion broadcast on Channel 10’s “The Project”.
“Good,” Morris replied with a laugh. “We’re going to have a wonderful fortnight.”
Morris was a 17-year-old British girl and Thomas was a 21-year-old paratrooper when they first met in London in the spring of 1944.
In an interview with Australia’s Today show before their reunion this week, Morris said that he and a friend went to Richmond one day when they saw two young women trying to rent a boat to row on the Thomas River.
“We suggested that they rent two rowboats and one young lady rowed my friend and Joyce would row me,” Thomas recalled.
The pair went on to date, but were soon torn apart by the war when D-Day came in June 1944.
After the war, he returned to the US and the two continued to write letters to each other.
Thomas asked Morris to come to the US to marry him, but somehow Morris misunderstood and thought he’d found someone else, so she stopped writing.
The two eventually married other people, with Morris resettling in Australia. Thomas’ wife died in 2001 while Morris divorced her husband after 30 years.
Last year, Morris asked one of her sons to look for Thomas online, and they found his name featured in an article about D-Day that ran in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
Thomas and Morris reconnected via Skype. After their story went public, hundreds of people made donations to help fund Thomas’ trip to Australia from his hometown in Virginia Beach, and Air New Zealand offered to pay for the flights.
When Thomas landed in Adelaide on Wednesday, he told reporters that he was a bit nervous for the reunion which he has so looked forward to.
“I am going to give her a squeeze,” Thomas said, according to ABC.net.au.
“I am just sitting and taking it as life comes, line it up for me and I will be there. I appreciate all the help we have had.”
The two are planning to spend Valentine’s Day together. – http://www.dailymail.co.uk