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Remains of Vietnam War Pilot finally home

12 August 2019

More than five decades after his death, the remains of an American fighter pilot have finally returned home.

The obituary said his remains were being flown back to Texas by his son, Bryan Knight, a Southwest Airlines pilot.

Col. Roy Abner Knight Jr. was killed in the Vietnam War, but his remains weren't found until recently.

Once the younger Knight learned that his father's remains had been found, he launched the process of repatriating them.

For one Southwest Airlines pilot flying from Oakland, California, to Dallas' Love Field Airport, it was the most important flight of his life. He now flies as a captain for Southwest Airlines.

"We came up with the idea of what if would it be possible, and it required both tremendous effort on the part of the Air Force and Southwest Airlines to make it happen", Knight said.

USA Today reported that Knight was shot down in 1967 while attacking a target on the Ho Chin Minh trail in Laos.

The site of his crash was first excavated in 1994 and revisited several times over the years.

"It was a real surreal experience for a little kid", Brian Knight said. He joined the US Air Force just days after his 17th birthday, following five older brothers who all served in World War Two. He became a fighter pilot, serving in Germany and France before returning home in 1963 to work as an instructor pilot.

The elder Knight was shot down May 19, 1967, during a mission in northern Laos.

Proskow, who works for Canada's Global News, captured the moment in a series of photographs and tweets. Proskow was on his way home from El Paso, where he'd been covering the deadly shooting that took place last weekend.

"Airports rarely see moments of quiet - but for a few brief minutes, Dallas Love Field fell absolutely silent", Proscow wrote of his experience.

"It was peaceful, it was lovely and it was a privilege to watch", he added. These include severe injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and health issues related to Agent Orange exposure.

Major Knight, who was posthumously promoted to colonel, is to be buried with military honors in Weatherford, Texas, on Saturday.

Remains of Vietnam War Pilot finally home