They went on to have their own separate marriages and families. But they never forgot each other after all these years.
In all the mayhem of World War II, a young man and woman found each other in the most unlikely circumstances and fell deeply in love in a small town in France.
KT Robbins, who is now 97 years old, would certainly remember bits of all the hysteria during the war. But 75 years ago, what he also took back from his service as an American soldier was a black and white photograph of a young 18-year-old Jeannine Ganaye. Little did he know then that the many lovely memories they shared together in the town of Briey would stay with him for decades.
All the way back in 1944, 24-year-old KT was in the town of Briey, looking for someone who would help him with his laundry. An old woman was ready to help him out, and this is when he met her young daughter. It wasn't long before KT and Jeannine fell in love, but their time together had to end when the soldier was called to the Eastern Front for battle, according to the Daily Mail.
KT and Jeannine, young and madly in love with each other at the time, were separated by the demands of war but they never forgot each other for the next seven and a half decades.
Leaving Jeannine behind was extremely tough for the young soldier. "I told her 'maybe I'll come back and take you', but it did not happen like that," KT told French television channel France 2. "When he left in the truck I cried, of course, I was very sad,' added Jeannine. "I wish, after the war, he hadn't returned to America." She began learning a bit of English, hoping that one day KT would come back for her.
However, things didn't turn out as they hoped for. After the war, KT returned to America and eventually, met Lillian, whom he spent 70 years of his life married to. And Jeannine Ganaye became Jeannine Pierson.
While they both went on to have their marriages and raised separate families, KT still kept her picture and she never forgot him either. Recently, when KT gave an interview while he was in France during the 75th anniversary of D-Day. And when he showed the journalists the old picture of Jeannine, he mentioned how he would love to head back to the same village "to find her family". He never thought he would ever see her again, thinking maybe she passed away, saying "For sure I won't ever get to see her."
But the journalists were eager to find her and bring the two separated lovers together. Using her name and the photograph, they managed to track her down and find that she was in a retirement home, 27 miles away from where the two of them first met about 75 years ago.
They were able to give KT one of the biggest surprises of his life. Before the reunion, they told him, "She's alive, and she's waiting for you" to which he exclaimed, "No kidding!"
Both of them, widowed and now in the ages of 97 and 92, were ecstatic to meet each other once again after so many years. As their eyes lit up and they held each other, KT told Jeannine, "I always loved you. You never got out of my heart."
In French, Jeannine told one of the journalists present, "He said he loves me. I understood that much." He took out the picture of her tucked away in his pocket, the one he had kept for decades. And Jeannine couldn't help but ask why he didn't visit sooner. "I've always thought of him, thinking maybe he'll come," she said. "I wish he had come back."
KT said, "You know, when you get married, after that you can't do it anymore."
After spending hours together, KT had to leave but they both promised each other that they would see each other again. They both shared some tender moments with each other and KT told her, "Jeannine, I love you girl" before they bid farewell.
Though KT had to leave her side once again, hopefully, this time, it won't be long before the next time they see each other again. Watch the precious moment where they met each other after more than 70 years.