When Air Force Maj. Roy Knight Jr., left Dallas for Vietnam 52 years ago, his 5-year-old son, Bryan, came to Dallas Love Field to see him off. On Thursday, Bryan, now a captain for Southwest Airlines, brought back his father’s remains aboard a flight to the same Dallas airport. Roy Knight Jr. was 36 when he was shot down while attacking a target in Laos on May 19,1967. Knight, officially listed as MIA, was declared deceased in September 1974, when son Bryan was just 12.
… In 1991 and 1992, almost 20 years after the end of the Vietnam war, joint U.S.-Laos teams investigated a crash site allegedly associated with Knight’s loss, recommending it for excavation. From 1994, the site was examined five times. Early this year a joint team recovered possible human remains and life support items that led to the identification of Knight’s remains.
… Today (Thursday), at the Dallas airport, hundreds of crew members, onlookers, friends, and military personnel, gathered on the tarmac as Bryan flew his father’s remains home. There was complete silence at the airport and most (including me) had a major case of goose bumps.