PHOTOS: US WWII vet reunites with wartime girlfriend in Australia

Image 1 of 8

(FOX 5 Atlanta) A 93-year-old World War II veteran from Virginia traveled to Australia to reunite with his wartime girlfriend after more than 70 years apart. 

Norwood Thomas flew 10,000 miles to be with 88-year-old Joyce Morris, a British woman he met during the second World War. 

Thomas was a 21-year-old paratrooper when he met 17-year-old Morris in London, shortly before D-Day. Thomas said the military ordered him to return home before he could say goodbye. They wrote letters to each other and Thomas asked Morris to come to the U.S. to marry him, but somehow she misunderstood his proposal and thought he had found someone else. That's when she stopped sending him letters.  

The two lost touch, married other people and started families, but Thomas said he always thought of his young British girl as the one who got away. 

They finally reconnected last year on Skype after Morris asked her sons to search for Thomas on the internet. They found his name featured in an article about D-Day that ran in The Virginia-Pilot newspaper. Their story went viral and fueled a public fundraising campaign to send Thomas to Australia. 

Thomas arrived in the southern city of Adelaide and finally saw Morris for the first time in 70 years. He said the first thing he had planned to do when he saw her was give her a squeeze. 

"I'm a little nervous," Thomas told the Virginia-Pilot before the reunion. 

Thomas' wife died in 2001 and Morris is divorced from her husband of 30 years. 

The two are planning to spend Valentine's Day together. 

Photos courtesy of The Virginia-Pilot. The Associated Press contributed to this article.