World War 2: Moment war hero, 97, reunited with French sweetheart after 75 years | World | News

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An American veteran was filmed reuniting with his French sweetheart 75-years on from the Second World War. KT Robbins, now 97, fell in love with an 18-year-old French girl, Jeannine Pierson née Ganayen, now 92, while he was station in her hometown, Briey, in 1944. The 24-year-old, after two months, was told he had to quickly leave the village and head to the Eastern Front to fight.

After 75-years, the pair were reunited, with the help of journalists and in the BBC video Mr Robbins said: “Jeannine. Her name is Jeannine Ganaye. For sure, I won’t ever get to see her.”

After being told that journalists had found the woman, Mr Robbins glowed and said: “You’re kidding. Can you believe that?”

Later in the clip, the two are seen reuniting at Ms Pierson’s retirement home, where they embrace.

Jeannine said: “I’ve always thought of him, thinking maybe he will come. I always asked, always.”

She added: “When he left in the truck, I cried, of course, I was very sad. I wish that after the war he hadn’t returned to America.”

During the video, Mr Robbins was also seen pulling out an old photograph of Jeannine as he said: “This is you.”

Ms Jeannine said: “Why did he stay over there for so long?

“Why did he not come back sooner? I wish he had come back.”

At the end of the video, the pair are seen saying goodbye and kissing.

After the war, Mr Robbins returned to America he met and married Lillian, his wife of 70 years.

Ms Pierson also fell in love again. She got married in 1949 and became a mother to five children.

But, Mr Robbins always kept a picture of his French sweetheart and showed it to journalists from the French broadcaster, France 2, while they were filming a report on veterans in the United States.

A few weeks later, he went to France for the commemorative ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings where journalists had managed to track her down.

Now both widowed, Mr Robbins and Ms Pierson promised they would meet again one day.

Last Thursday, world leaders gathered in France for the official anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, in 1944.

Hundreds of D-Day veterans gathered in France to honour the sacrifice of those who died in the landings.

Wreaths were laid and a minute’s silence was held before watching an RAF flypast.

Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It’s an honour for all of us to share this moment with you. It’s almost impossible to grasp the raw courage it must have taken that day.”

Also paying tribute, Mr Macron said: “This is where young men, many of whom had never set foot on French soil, landed at dawn under German fire, risking their lives while fighting their way up the beach, which was littered with obstacles and mines.”

The operation was the biggest seaborne invasion in history and led to the liberation of Europe during the Second World War.



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