WWII Vet Travels to Australia to Reunite with his Wartime Girlfriend

It took almost 70 years, but it was worth the wait. Thomas Norwood is a 93-year-old United States World War II veteran had traveled all the way to Australia to see his wartime girlfriend in Australia. Joyce Morris is 88 years old and resides in the city of Adelaide. The two long lost loves laughed as they finally embraced.

The Advertiser (an Australian newspaper) was alerted by Norwood’s son Steve Thomas. The trip was long and demanding, but Norwood had to get there. The last time he saw Morris, she had been only 18 years old. He embraced her like no time had passed and, on Channel 10’s broadcast of The Project, declared the reunion as the best thing that could have ever happened to him . Morris laughed and said “Good, we’re going to have a wonderful fortnight.”

The two loves met shortly before D-Day in London, when Morris was a 17-year-old British girl and Thomas was a 21-year-old paratrooper. After D-Day Norwood served in the European Theatre of War. Once the war ended, Norwood was shipped back  to the United States.  The two lovers wrote letters to one another. Norwood did ask Morris to come to the U.S to marry him, but somehow Joyce Morris misunderstood what he wrote. She thought Thomas Norwood had found someone else and stopped writing him.

Each eventually did marry someone else, but Norwood’s wife died in 2001 and Morris was divorced after 30 years of marriage. It was not until last year that Morris asked one of her children to look Thomas up online. They found his name featured in an article about D-Day that ran in the Virginian-Pilot. Morris children helped her get in contact with Norwood. The two initially reconnected via Skype. While speaking online, Morris admitted to Thomas that she had kept a picture of him all these years. Each morning she looked at it to say good morning. Thomas loved hearing that, but said the problem was he could not take her in his arms to hug her.

Once the story went public hundreds of people from Norwood’s hometown in Virginia Beach donated money to fund his trip to Australia. The two will spend Valentine’s Day together. After three days of travel this visit was officially 71 years in the making, but the two were looking forward to it more than you can imagine. Thomas mentioned there will certainly be tears when the two have to say goodbye to one another. Let’s hope the two will meet again before too long.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE