Daily Life

Wartime sweethearts Norwood Thomas and Joyce Morris reunite after 70 years

Adelaide: They smiled, they hugged, they kissed.

And in those few moments the past 70 years just melted away as wartime sweethearts Norwood "Tommy" Thomas and Joyce Morris were reunited.

Mr Thomas, 93, who now lives in Virginia in the US, and Ms Morris, who lives in Adelaide, first met near London as World War II raged.

The pair reconnected recently over the internet, setting in train a reunion more than seven decades in the making.

Amid global media attention, Mr Thomas arrived in Adelaide on Wednesday and was quickly doing what he'd longed for, giving his wartime girlfriend "a squeeze".

"This is about the most wonderful thing that's happened to me," he said on The Project.

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The pair originally met in 1944, a few months before Mr Thomas parachuted into Normandy with the 101st Airborne Division.

"I was out with a friend, and being young, we had our eyes out for young ladies," he told US broadcaster ABC News.

"We were on a bridge crossing the Thames when we looked down and saw these two fine young ladies.

"We went down, paddled around the Thames in rowboats for a bit, later got some drink and food and Joyce and I just clicked."

But after the war they went their separate ways.

They swapped letters for a time and in one Mr Thomas asked Ms Morris to move to the US to be his wife but she declined, saying she had just begun training as a nurse.

As it turns out Ms Morris simply misinterpreted her sweetheart's proposal and now fears she may have written back with "not a very nice letter".

But her eyes sparkled when she remembered the Tommy who first chatted her up.

"He was full of fun. He was a real cheeky fellow," she said.

And in all the years since she kept those memories alive with a photo of him that she said "good morning" to every day.

Mr Thomas had also never forgotten the girl he'd left behind.

"All through my life, I've had this little thought of 'what if,'" he said.

Mr Thomas was expected to stay in Adelaide for two weeks, allowing the couple to spend Valentine's Day together.

AAP

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