Joyce Vosper and Eileen Schreiber began their correspondence in 1947, when Devon-based Joyce, then 15, advertised for a long-distance friendship in the New York newspaper Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
A fourteen-year-old Eileen spotted Joyce's plea and replied.
Joyce, now 83, explained to the Daily Express: "I thought I would like to travel and the way to do that was to make some friends around the world and find out what the world was like."
Over the years, the two women became close as they exchanged hundreds of letters. Eileen even sent sweets and clothes to Joyce to cheer her up in a post-war Britain.
The far-flung friends lost touch during their middle ages, but then Eileen tracked down her long lost pal via the internet.
The New Yorker couldn't remember Joyce's married name but stumbled across an email for Colin Launder, who turned out to be Joyce's brother.
Eileen, a former data analyst, said: "He put us back in touch. I thought she might have decided she didn't want to write to me any more, but she did."
And finally, after losing her husband of 33 years, Eileen, now 82, decided to book a flight to Britain where the writing buddies met for the very first time.
Joyce, who married Walter when she was 21, declared: "I was amazed that she came because I was afraid something would happen – but she's a tough old bird."
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