Vietnam Veteran’s Last Flight: Southwest pilot flies his father’s remains home after 52 years

The usual bustling Dallas airport came to a standstill when a Southwest flight piloted by Bryan Knight taxied to the gate carrying the remains of his father, 52 years after he went missing during the Vietnam War. Bryan Knight, a Southwest pilot flew the plane from Hawaii carrying his father’s casket back to the same airport where he had left them more than a half-century ago. While the prospect of son flying his dad home is overwhelming, coming back 52 years later to the same spot at Dallas is incredible. Here’s a touching video of the flag-draped casket of Roy Knight Jr. being carried off the plane as his emotional son watched and the Southwest Airlines’ crew and staff stood at attention at the airport.

Southwest pilot brings home father’s remains

As the plane slowly made its way on the tarmac, people both inside and outside the airport stopped to pay respect to Roy Knight. Southwest crew members and Dallas Love Field employees greeted the plane for the veteran’s long-awaited arrival home. On landing in Dallas, the Southwest Airlines jet received a water cannon salute. That’s where the pilot son, Brian last saw his father 52 years back as he left for the Vietnam War. He was then only five years old, . The son who watched his dad leave to fight in the Vietnam War, was also the man who flew his remains home. The casket draped with an American flag, was received with full military honors. Inside the terminal, hundreds watched across the windows, listening to the gate agent as he tearfully recounted the Veteran’s story over the intercom. Service members carried the casket of Roy Knight Jr. off the plane. The bustling airport was, for a moment, still.

Southwest pilot brings home father’s remains
Southwest pilot brings home father’s remains

Vietnam Veteran

In 1967, Air Force combat pilot, Roy Knight Jr. headed to Vietnam war. He reported to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in January and after flying near-daily combat missions, Knight was missing. His plane was shot down over enemy territory in Laos. He was later promoted to colonel and declared killed in action in 1974. 45 years later, the family finally received closure. The pilot’s remains were finally recovered near his plane’s crash site after more than five decades and were flown from Honolulu to Oakland and from Oakland back to Dallas, where his family greeted the Southwest flight as it arrived.

AMERICAN HERO: Col. Roy Knight Jr., from Garner, TX was shot down and killed during the Vietnam War, in May 1967. In early 2019, 52 years later, his remains were identified in Laos. Today, his son, Southwest captain Bryan Knight, is returning his father home. FULL STORY: #LoveField #SWA

Posted by WFAA on Thursday, 8 August 2019

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