DALLAS, Texas (KETK) – More than 50 years after he disappeared in a war zone, the remains of a North Texas fighter pilot are finally home.
Air Force Colonel Roy Knight was killed in action when his plane went down during the Vietnam War.
Today, family gathered at Dallas Love Field as the plane returned.
And the pilot of that Southwest plane was the late colonel’s own son.
Bryan Knight was just 5 years old when he said goodbye to his father. And now he got to bring his dad home – literally.
Employees on the tarmac paused for this special moment, along with passengers at the gate.
Colonel Knight was just 36 years old when he was deployed to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
The Department of Defense says in May of 1967, he was leading a strike mission in the country of Laos when his plane was shot down.
Search and rescue efforts were very limited because the area was so hostile at the time.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that a joint team from the U.S. and Laos began investigating the area.
There they found possible human remains and other items, which were sent to a lab for analysis.
In June they finally were able to account for knight.
“It’s a day we never thought would actually happen,” said Roy Knight III,one of the colonel’s sons. “The fact that it did is just remarkable, it’s actually miraculous. There’s a lot to this, there’s competing emotions, not only because he’s coming home – which is a good thing, it is a very good thing – but there’s also the aspect that we’re reliving the loss.”
Colonel Knight will be moved to Weatherford, where he’ll be buried this weekend.