Veteran finds lost love more than 70 years after WWII

11.11 VET LOST LOVENovember 11th marks Veterans Day and what better time to tell the story of a World War II veteran who just reconnected with a love he lost more than 70 years ago.

Norwood Thomas is a World War II veteran and since 1944, he’s asked himself “What if?” It has to do with the future he imagined for himself and Joyce Durrant.

Norwood fell in love with Joyce during World War II, he recalls, “She was on this pedestal like a goddess untouched. Pure. Unattainable.”

The two met while Norwood, a member of the 101st Airborne Division, was stationed outside of London during World War II. He can’t quite remember exactly how long he and Joyce dated, but they spent enough time together for him to know that what they had was special.

“All I can say is it was long enough for me to become smitten… for me to decide that this is a girl that I want to marry and want to live with.”

Unfortunately, with war going on, there was little room for love.

“It was shortly before the Normandy invasions where all of sudden, instead of seeing her the next week, I just never saw her again.”

After the war, Norwood returned to the U.S. and sent letters to Joyce asking her to come to America. But she declined. 

Norwood went on and later met and married another woman. He says she helped get his “mixed up head get straight.” They raised three children. Norwood recalls his wonderful life with his wife before she passed away.

It wasn’t until after her death that the thought of him and Joyce’s future managed to creep up back in his mind, “I feel that, had she come, that my marriage would have been a success.”

Their future together remained only a thought, that is, until a few months ago when Norwood’s son, Steven, received an email from a man in Australia. He happened to be Joyce’s son, Robert.

It turns out, all the way on the other side of the world, Joyce had been thinking similar thoughts. She had her son do some research online to see if Norwood was still alive and willing to talk after all these years.

Norwood calls it “a great revelation”.

Now, more than 70 years after their last meeting, the two are finally seeing each other again on a Skype call.

Norwood and Joyce talked for more than an hour. They joked about how much they have changed over the years. Joyce jokingly raised a picture of Norwood, “Do you remember when you looked this young?”

“That’s the one that would wink at the girls,” says Norwood.

“Yes you did.”

The two reminisced about their time together, and what they have been up to for the last 70 years.

Joyce reminds Norwood, “You were a lot of fun.”

Although it’s the first conversation the two have had in more than half a century, it isn’t the first time they have laid eyes on each other since their last meeting.

“I have a picture frame on my bureau and I say ‘good morning to you’ every morning,” says Joyce.

With the help of Skype, they no longer have to rely on pictures.

Norwood is thankful, “That we’re able to say hello eye-to-eye, this is a wonderful situation.”

Now if only Skype could fix everything, “The only one big problem is that I can’t take you in my arms and give you a squeeze.”

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content