Reunited after 63 years: World War II couple meets again

Published: June 15, 2006 | 4357th good news item since 2003

They became lovers during World War II. She was a 21-year-old Australian and he was a 23-year-old American Marine.
After 63 years of separation, they’re together again.

In 1943, Russ Cummer, of Clio, was a Marine stationed near Melbourne, Australia. One day on the beach, he met a cute, young lady by the name of Jean. Her family took to Russ right away and had him over for dinner often. Romance soon bloomed between Russ and Jean.

“She took me dancing. She took me to the horse races,” Russ recalled.

“We never had a cross word that I can remember. We just enjoyed each other’s company,” Jean added.

After six months together, Russ was reassigned. He was needed for the invasion of the Philippines. That was the last time Russ and Jean saw each other. The last letter between them was sent in 1950.

“We both got busy with our families – just didn’t communicate any longer,” Jean said.

The years flew by. Last winter, two of Russ’s sons planned a vacation to Australia and offered to look up Jean. “The kids said they were going to Australia. I said, ‘Well, it’s a long shot. Try it,'” Russ told ABC12’s Randy Conat.

The two brothers found Jean living on the same street she did 63 years ago. “It was absolutely magical that they would find me,” said Jean.

“Next to a miracle as far as I’m concerned,” Russ admitted.

Last night, Jean and her daughter, Vivian, flew into Detroit Metro and met Russ and his family. “I got a kiss. First time in 63 years,” said Russ.

Now it’s time to look over the old pictures and reminisce.

Jean returns to Australia in a week. She plans to stay in touch with Russ through phone calls and letters.

Published in Love, Reunited
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