ADELAIDE, Aus - Joyce Morris smiled as she recalled “snogging” with Norwood Thomas 70 years ago.
Thomas and Morris dated when Norwood was a United States paratrooper stationed in London. When orders moved him to France for the Battle of Normandy, they lost touch.
"She had always been on the fringes of my thoughts this whole time.” Thomas told ABC News. “She'd always pop up as a pleasant memory.” And when he found out, “she'd been thinking of me this whole time too," he was thrilled.
Once apart, both married, had families, and went about life. But Morris is now divorced and Thomas' wife died a few years ago.
That’s when Morris’s son discovered contact information for Thomas' son. He got in touch and the two helped their parents find each other. The men said the first time Joyce and Norwood talked on the phone, they cried.
The tears were short lived.
A story about the two resulted in hundreds of people donating money so Norwood could fly to Australia to visit his wartime girl. When Air New Zealand heard, they threw in free airfare.
"This is about the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me," Thomas told Australia Channel TEN's The Project, upon seeing Joyce. “Good,” she added. "We're going to have a wonderful fortnight."
Norwood told ABC he kept it together until “she called me 'Tommy,' her nickname for me.” Misty eyed, the former soldier admitted, “Oh, my God, it stirred emotions that had been dormant for a long, long time."
The two aren’t calling their “strong feelings” love, at least not yet. But they do plan to “reminisce about their old days together," while celebrating Valentine’s Day.