Posted on August 9, 2019
Col Roy Knight Jr had last seen his family at this same airport 52 years before, when they came to say goodbye before he went to war.
The pilot who flew Col Knight’s remains home was his son, Bryan, who had last seen his father on that day at age 5.
Col Knight flew combat missions almost daily until he was shot down in 1967. His remains were not recovered until more than five decades later. Col Knight was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart and six Air Medals for his actions during the war. On Thursday, his flight home to Dallas aboard a Southwest Airline flight inspired an impromptu moment of silence in the terminal.
“It was a very moving moment,” said Dallas Love Field airport spokesman Chris Perry.
Mr Perry said he had seen veterans’ remains flown home before but the response to Mr Knight was “especially unique”, prompting an unusually large reception.
Global News reporter Jackson Proskow detailed the plane’s arrival to Dallas Love Field airport, and called witnessing Col Knight’s arrival a “privilege”. Pictures show passengers crowding around the terminal windows, noses pressed up to the glass to watch Col Knight arrive. Employees of Southwest Airlines handed out American flags to everyone at the gate.
“Incredible moment to watch. The entire airport fell silent,” Mr Proskow wrote.
Mr Proskow’s tweets generated more than 18 thousand retweets and 40 thousand likes.
Many commented on the “beautiful” celebration for Col Knight.