Spitfire hero was reunited with wartime love 60 years later

Spitfire hero was reunited with wartime love who he last saw on a railway platform in 1944 after she saw him on TV discussing Battle of Britain 60 years later

  • Joe Roddis, 83, and Betty Wood, 84, were reunited at last after 60 years apart 
  • The pair had last seen each other when parting at Worthing station in 1944
  • After Wood recognised Roddis on TV the pair reunited and moved in together 
  • They were together for eight years before Wood died in 2012 and Roddis in 2017
  • A new book Spitfire: A Very British Love Story by John Nichol tells their story  

A Spitfire mechanic was reunited with his wartime love after she spotted him talking about his experience of the war on television more than 60 years after they last saw each other.

Joe Roddis, 83, and Betty Wood, 84, said a tearful goodbye for what they believed would be the last time they saw one another at Worthing railway station in 1944.

The fighter plane mechanic had fallen in love with the WAAF corporal but they agreed to part ways as Wood had a fiancé who was returning from the Middle East.

But after Wood, a widowed grandmother, switched on a documentary about Spitfires she spotted Roddis giving an interview.

Joe Roddis, 83, and Betty Wood, 84, were reunited after 60 years apart having met during the war

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After contacting the television company responsible for making the programme, the pair were finally reunited – on a railway platform.

They then made up for lost time by moving in together almost immediately.

A new book Spitfire: A Very British Love Story by John Nichol, tells their story.

In an interview for the book, Roddis said: ‘Even though all those years had passed, she was the same Betty I had last seen at Worthing 60 years earlier.

‘It was a totally wonderful moment. The war and the Spitfire had come full circle and brought us together again. We relived all the places we’d danced and the things we’d done during the heat of wartime.’

Wood told Roddis: ‘What are we doing hanging about?’

The pair spent eight years together before Wood died in 2012. Roddis died a few years later in April 2017, shortly after telling his story for the book. 

‘It was the start of what were to be eight of some of the most wonderful years of my life,’ he said, ‘It was the perfect ending.’ 

A lone Spitfire performed a fly-past at his funeral. 

Joe Roddis served as a fighter plane mechanic working on Spitfires during the Second World War

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