VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- A World War II veteran from Virginia is set to travel to Australia to meet his wartime girlfriend after spending more than 70 years apart.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, Noorwood Thomas, 93, of Virginia Beach, is traveling to Adelaide, Australia, next month to reunite with 88-year-old Joyce Morris.
Thomas met Morris along the banks of the River Thames two months before he parachuted into Normandy. Seventy years later, Thomas can still recite her address and says he clearly remembers the sound of her laugh.
After the war ended, the two went their separate ways, but recently reunited via Skype.
Shortly after a story about their online reunion ran in The Virginian-Pilot, hundreds of people began a collection to make sure the two were reunited in real life.
Morris, who has lost most of her vision, and Thomas, who lives on a fixed income, wouldn't have been able to make the trip happen without those donations.
Now with more than $7,500 from the public and a generous donation from Air New Zealand, Thomas and his son are headed to Australia free of charge.
“I’m numb,” Thomas told The Virginian-Pilot. “I have no idea what my emotions are going to be once we meet face to face.”