Texas airport watches as pilot son returns remains of Vietnam vet father

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EyeEm GettyImages

"As we wait at the gate, we're told Captain Knight is coming home to Dallas".

Dallas was Knight's home, and his son grew up to become a pilot with Southwest Airlines, flying the Dallas-bound plane with is dad's remains.

The announcement was made about the war veteran over the intercom at the airport and travelers and workers stopped what they were doing the moment Bryan Knight landed the plane to silently watch, salute and pay their respects to the fallen pilot.

Bryan Knight was 5 years old when he saw his father depart Dallas Love Field Airport for Vietnam.

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

Col. Knight, an A-1E fighter pilot with the US Air Force, was shot down a few months later.

On Thursday, his flight home to Dallas aboard a Southwest Airline flight inspired an impromptu moment of silence in the terminal. "It was the last time he would see his father alive", Proskow said Thursday.

In June, the crash site was searched and a number of human remains were found, including Roy Knight. Employees of Southwest Airlines handed out American flags to everyone at the gate. "The entire airport fell silent", Mr Proskow wrote.

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

"When I first got the call it was nearly surreal because I really didn't think it would ever happen... he's really coming home... we're going to have a place where we can honour him".

He received his orders to go to war in 1966 and was deployed to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, from where he flew daily combat missions. He was declared missing, and officially presumed dead in 1974.

Services and full military honors will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holder's Chapel United Methodist Church in Weatherford, according to the obituary.

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