Pilot flies father’s remains home 52 years after he was killed in Vietnam

Pilot flies father’s remains home 52 years after he was killed in Vietnam

A Southwest Airlines pilot has flown his father’s remains back home to the US after they were identified from the Vietnam War.

Captain Bryan Knight flew his father, Colonel Roy Knight Jr, to Dallas Love Field Airport in Texas on Thursday, more than 50 years after he was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1967.

The airline said Capt Knight had last seen his father when he was five, and said goodbye to him as he left for Vietnam from the same airport in Dallas.

Capt Knight, who is an air force veteran, said in a statement that he was “honoured” and “lucky” to have been able to fly his father’s remains home.

(Ashlee D Smith/Southwest Airlines/PA)
(Ashlee D Smith/Southwest Airlines/PA)

Col Knight served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War, and was shot down on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos in 1967.

His remains were found and positively identified earlier this year, 52 years after his death.

An honour guard from the air force met the plane carrying his remains at Love Field Airport, along with Southwest crew, the airport’s fire department and family members.

(Ashlee D Smith/Southwest Airlines/PA)
(Ashlee D Smith/Southwest Airlines/PA)

In a statement to Southwest Airlines, Capt Knight said: “To be able to do this, to bring my father home, I’m very very honoured and very lucky.

“When I first got the call it was almost surreal because I really didn’t think it would ever happen… he’s really coming home… we’re going to have a place where we can honour him.

“The support and all that’s happened has been phenomenal.”

Jackson Proskow, who was at the airport in Dallas waiting for a flight when the plane flown by Capt Knight came in, said the arrival was “incredible”.

Mr Proskow wrote on Twitter: “As we wait at the gate, we’re told that Captain Knight is coming home to Dallas.

“When he left from this very airport to fight in Vietnam his five-year-old son came to the airfield and waved goodbye.”

Southwest Airlines said: “Earlier this year, Capt Knight learned that his father’s remains were positively identified, which began the mission of returning Col Knight to his home in north Texas.

“On Thursday, his son flew his father home to Love Field where he was received with full military honours to express a nation’s thanks for his dad’s service to our country.

“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.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Outlook for US factories remains weak amid slowing global economiesOutlook for US factories remains weak amid slowing global economies

Pigeon poos on politician being interviewed about the problem of pigeon pooPigeon poos on politician being interviewed about the problem of pigeon poo

Epstein accusers denied compensation in victims’ rights caseEpstein accusers denied compensation in victims’ rights case

Harvard received more than €8m in donations from Jeffrey EpsteinHarvard received more than €8m in donations from Jeffrey Epstein

More in this Section

Nicola Sturgeon ‘fighting for European future’ on visit to BerlinNicola Sturgeon ‘fighting for European future’ on visit to Berlin

Two Britons and Italian killed in Venice boat crashTwo Britons and Italian killed in Venice boat crash

Liverpool chief executive visits injured fan in Naples hospitalLiverpool chief executive visits injured fan in Naples hospital

Former US president Jimmy Carter says he could not have managed presidency at 80Former US president Jimmy Carter says he could not have managed presidency at 80


Lifestyle

Try typing “Yas queen!” or “Shade” or “Don’t Fuck It Up” into a search engine and see what comes up.RuPaul's Drag Race is inventing a whole new internet subculture and language

Angela’s Ashes: The Musical at Cork Opera House brings some belly-laughs to Frank McCourt's tale, writes Marjorie Brennan.Perfect blend of belly laughs and emotion at Angela's Ashes: The Musical

Peter Dowdall has plenty of timely advice on preparing your plot for next spring Planting spring-flowering bulbs has to be one of my favourite tasks in the gardening year.It's not too early to prepare for spring - get planting now

There was no escaping Brexit at London Fashion Week – except at Erdem. The royal designer of choice created clothes to take our minds off the turmoil, writes Paul McLauchlan.Why Erdem stole the show at London fashion Week

More From The Irish Examiner