MIA Vietnam vet's son flies his remains home 52 years later

Erika Holt
August 11, 2019

Knight was 5 years old the last time he saw his dad alive.

"As we wait at the gate, we're told Captain Knight is coming home to Dallas". After his remains were identified 52 year later, his body was returned to the United States by his son, a pilot with Southwest Airlines.

Colonel Knight and his son were welcomed back to Dallas with a water cannon salute, without passengers onboard knowing about the touching tribute.

Bryan flew his father's remains back to Dallas Love Field Airport on Thursday, and upon landing, his father received a tremendous greeting, CNN reported. On behalf of regional approach, we welcome your father, Col. Knight, home.

According to the Department of Defense, Air Force Col. Roy Knight, Jr. was 36 when he was leading a team of A-1 Skyraiders on a mission over Northern Laos.

His remains hadn't been recovered until February 2019.

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After Col. Knight's death, Brian Knight followed in his father's footsteps, joining the Air Force. He and his family made a trip to Dallas' Love Field from their home in North Texas to see his father off as he left for the Vietnam War.

"The entire terminal has come to watch this arrival", he wrote, posting a picture of people crowded up against the airport terminal's windows, as well as airport workers standing at attention at the airlines gate, and a photo of the flag-draped casket being solemnly carried from the plane.

Canadian journalist Jackson Proskow, who happened to be waiting at the gate where Knight's plane was arriving, documented the "incredible moment" in a series of moving posts on Twitter. Roy A. Knight, Jr., USAF, was shot down while attacking a target on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. 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 was initially declared Missing in Action until being declared Killed in Action seven years later.

He will be buried in Weatherford, Texas, Saturday.

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