Pilot lost during Vietnam War finally returns, pilot son brings remains home

An Air Force Colonel lost during the Vietnam War is finally home.

Col. Roy Knight Jr. said goodbye to his son, who was only 5 years old when Knight shipped out from Dallas' Love Field to serve our country 52 years ago, KDFW reported.

It was the last time father and son were together, until Thursday.

That's when Knight's son, Bryan Knight, flew the plane that brought his father's remains home, back to the same airport where they said what would be their final farewells, KDFW reported.

Bryan Knight is now a captain flying for Southwest.


Col. Roy Knight served as a pilot for the 602nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, assigned to Udorn Royal Thai Air Base in Thailand. His aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire on May 19,1967. No parachute was seen before his plane crashed and burst into flames. No locator devices were ever heard. Search and rescue efforts were started but could not be fulfilled because of hostile ground fire in the location of the crash. Roy Knight finally was declared dead in Sept. 1974, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

Teams from the United States and Lao's People's Democratic Republic investigated the crash site where they thought Knight's plane had gone down and recommended it for excavation. In March 1994, the first of four excavations began. Remains were finally found in early this year, DPAA said.

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Dental analysis, as well as evidence recovered at the site, led to Roy Knight's positive identification on June 4. The announcement of his identification was made on June 13 by DPAA.

There are still 1,588 service members who have not returned home and remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Roy Knight had been listed on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific located in Honolulu. His name will now bear a rosette to show that he has been found, according to DPAA.

On Thursday, a crowd of strangers honored Roy Knight and his family's sacrifice as a flag-draped casket came off the plane after being alerted by a gate agent, according to a Canadian journalist who happened to be at the airport waiting to board a flight.

Flags were handed out in the terminal to honor a man who made the ultimate sacrifice, Canada's Global News reported.

Roy Knight will be buried with full military honors Saturday in Weatherford, Texas, according to DPAA.