It’s fascinating how events in people’s lives can come back around full circle.
A couple that met during World War II and separated after the war ended have been reunited after almost 72 years apart.
Norwood Thomas, 93, was a pilot in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division during WWII when he met Joyce Morris, 88, in London, England during the spring of 1944.
When the war ended, Norwood came back to the United States. He continued to communicate with Joyce by sending letters and tried to convince her to move to the U.S. However, that never happened. Due to some miscommunication in Norwood’s last letter, Joyce mistakenly assumed that he was already married and she refused to relocate to the United States. Communication between the pair ended after that.
Norwood eventually met and married another woman in the United States.
After Norwood’s wife died, he started thinking about Joyce again and how he could find her. Thomas asked his son to help him search for Joyce. For a long time, he thought that Joyce had died. Little did he know that she was living half way around the world in Australia and that she had her son searching for him too.
After thinking about Norwood one day, Joyce asked her son if he could search for people on the internet. Her son Rob did an internet search for “Norwood Thomas, 101st Airborne” and found an old newspaper article in The Virginia-Pilot about Norwood Thomas going skydiving for his 88th birthday.
Rob then got in touch with the reporter and told him how his mother was trying to find the man in his article. The reporter called Norwood and told him that Joyce was looking for him.
A couple months ago, Norwood’s son was contacted online by Joyce’s son and they arranged a Skype call between Norwood and Joyce.
Last November, Norwood and Joyce were able to see each other and talk on Skype for the first time in decades. They discussed their times together in England during the war. During their two-hour long Skype call, Norwood told Joyce that he would like to meet her again in person.
After the news got out about the couple, a fellow military veteran started a GoFundMe appeal to raise money to pay for Norwood and his son Steven to travel to Australia to meet Joyce and her son in person. The GoFundMe page has raised almost $7,500 to pay for their travel expenses. In addition, Air New Zealand has agreed to fly Norwood and Steven to Australia for free.
Thanks to thousands of dollars in online donations from hundreds of people around the world, Norwood and his son will be traveling 10,000 miles from their home in Virginia Beach, Virginia to Joyce’s hometown of Adelaide, Australia in February. Norwood and Joyce plan on spending Valentine’s Day with each other this year.
Thomas said that he is looking forward to seeing Joyce again after all these years and giving her a hug.