Southwest Airlines captain brings father’s remains home 52 years later from Vietnam War

Normally bustling Dallas Love Field came to a standstill Thursday when a Southwest flight piloted by Bryan Knight taxied to the gate carrying the remains of his father Roy Knight, Jr. — 52 years after the Air Force pilot went missing as he served in the Vietnam War.

In a touching video from Southwest Airlines, crew and staff at the airport stood at attention as the flag-draped casket of Roy Knight, Jr. was carried off the plane as his emotional son watched.

Bryan Knight, who followed his father into the aviation field, is a spitting image of the man in the pictures that was lost in Vietnam in 1967.

Passengers watched the moment from the terminal.

“It was 1967 the last time I saw my father and I was 5 years old,” Knight said in a video posted by Southwest Airlines on Youtube. “That was at Love Field in Dallas Texas.”

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 plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire and went down over hostile territory. He was never found and was declared deceased in 1974.

Efforts to excavate the crash site began in 1991, but a team was unable to recover any remains until earlier this year. Knight was able to be positively identified using dental records.

“When I first got the call it was almost surreal because I thought it would never happen,” Capt. Bryan Knight said in the video. “Wow, he’s really coming home. We’re going to be able to bring him back. We’ll have a place where we can honor him.”

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