A 93-year-old World War II veteran is embarking on a 10,500-mile journey to Australia to visit his wartime girlfriend after more than 70 years apart.
It will take Norwood Thomas, who boarded a plane Sunday from Norfolk with his son, two days to reach the country, where he will be reunited with Joyce Morris, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
“I’d rather die traveling to Australia than live sitting around at home wondering, ‘What if?'” Thomas said.
News media around the globe have printed or broadcast the story, which has gone viral online.
“It’s the craziest thing,” Thomas said. “I can’t believe how interested all these people are.”
The two first met in London shortly before D-Day. Morris was a 17-year-old British girl, whom Thomas remembers as a “pretty little thing,” and he was a 21-year-old paratrooper with the 101st Airborne.
“Joyce was special. The one that got away,” Thomas said. “But after the war, my orders to go home came so quick there was no real chance to even say goodbye.”
Thomas, who hasn’t seen Morris since 1945, has kept a photo of her ever since.
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