Southwest Airlines Pilot Flies Hero Father’s Remains Home 52 Years After He Was Killed in Vietnam

Born in Garner, Texas in 1931, Col. Roy Knight Jr was one of the eight children. As soon as he turned seventeen years old, he enlisted in the Air Force and continued to work there as an officer. He became an instructor pilot at Laughlin AFB, Del Rio in 1963 and completed his bachelor’s degree from University of Omaha through Operation Bootstrap in 1966.

In January 1967, Col. Knight received orders for Southeast Asia. He reported to the 602nd Commander Fighter Squadron at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. Unfortunately, Col. Knight was shot down on May 19, 1967. Though he ejected from his aircraft, his parachute was not seen deploying. The search for Col. Knight was unfruitful,
and he was declared missing in action.

For his dedication and actions during the time he served, Col. Knight was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Air Force Cross, Purple heart and six Air Medals. The tragic nature of his death was published in the Global News. His obituary praised his achievements and his family waved him goodbye.


Photo provided by Southwest Airlines

Fifty-two years later, passengers waiting to board flight on 8th August 2019 at the Dallas Love Field airport, witnessed a once in a lifetime event. Southwest Airlines Captain Bryan Knight waved goodbye to his father at the Dallas Love Field when he left to Vietnam War in 1967. He was just a five-year-old boy then.

Call it a blessing from God, or a miracle, Captain Knight had managed to identify his father’s remains over five decades later positively. A massive blue, red, and yellow Southwest plane pulled in, carrying a very important passenger, Col. Knight, who had paid the ultimate sacrifice and died a hero in the Vietnam war.

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