A Southwest pilot flew his father's remains home after they were identified from the Vietnam War

Bryan Knight Southwest VietnamSouthwest Airlines
  • A Southwest pilot whose father was killed in the Vietnam War flew his father's remains home to rest on Thursday.
  • Colonel Roy Knight's fighter was shot down in 1967, and his remains were found and positively identified earlier this year.
  • His son, Captain Bryan Knight, was five years old when he last saw his father. He captained the flight that brought his remains home to Dallas Love Field.
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A pilot with Southwest Airlines flew a particularly meaningful flight on Thursday when he returned his father's remains home from the Vietnam War.

Southwest Captain Bryan Knight was five years old in 1967 when he last saw his father, Colonel Roy Knight. 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. Col. Knight, an A-1E fighter pilot with the US Air Force, was shot down a few months later.

There was a search-and-rescue attempt according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, but the elder Knight could not be found and the search was called off due to intense hostile fire at the time. He was declared missing, and officially presumed dead in 1974.

Earlier this year, human remains were discovered near the crash site. In June, those remains were confirmed to be Col. Knight's.

When Southwest's Captain Knight learned that his father's remains had been found, he began the process of repatriating them. They were flown to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they were transferred to a Southwest flight heading to Oakland, California.

From there, Captain Knight successfully coordinated his schedule with the airline to make sure that he could be the one to fly his father home. He was assigned as the pilot in charge of flight WN 1220, from Oakland to Love Field in Dallas for that flight.

Bryan Knight Southwest VietnamSouthwest Airlines

An honor guard from the Air Force met the plane at Love Field along with Southwest crew members who took a moment to pay their respects. The plane was also met with a water cannon salute by the airport's fire department after it landed.

 

"Our Southwest Airlines family is honored to support his long-hoped homecoming and join in tribute to Col. Knight," the airline said in a statement, "as well as every other military hero who has paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces."

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