Son returns remains of USAF pilot killed in Vietnam war

EyeEm  GettyImages

EyeEm GettyImages

His son, Captain Bryan Knight, was five years old when he last saw his father.

"We came up with the idea of what if would it be possible, and it required both tremendous effort on the part of the Air Force and Southwest Airlines to make it happen", Knight said.

As pilot Bryan Knight made his final descent into the airport Thursday, with his father Col. Roy Knight Jr.'s remains on board, a touching message came over the radio intercom.

"It was a real surreal experience for a little kid", Brian Knight said.

The effort to find Knight and identify his remains started in 1991, and US and Laos investigators found a crash site and life support items three years later.

"Airports rarely see moments of quiet-but for a few brief minutes, Dallas Love Field fell absolutely silent", he wrote. Searches this year led to remains linked to Knight. Employees of Southwest Airlines handed out American flags to everyone at the gate.

"When I first got the call, it was nearly surreal because I really didn't think it would ever happen", Knight, an Air Force veteran, said in the video. It was the last time he would see his father alive. "In another post, he said", Incredible moment to watch.

Pictures show passengers crowding around the terminal windows, noses pressed up to the glass to watch Col Knight arrive.

"Our Southwest Airlines family is honoured to support his long-hoped homecoming and join in tribute to Col Knight as well as every other military hero who has paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces".

According to Knight's obituary, he served as a typing clerk in the Philippines, Japan and Korea before becoming a fighter pilot. Roy A. Knight, Jr., USAF, was shot down while attacking a target on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos.

He was described as Missing In Action until 1974, when he was listed as Killed In Action. He reported to the 602nd Fighter Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in January of 1967, and flew combat missions nearly daily until being shot down May 19 of that year.

He will be buried in Weatherford, Texas, Saturday.

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