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Son flies veteran dad's remains home to Texas

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Posted at 9:22 AM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-09 12:04:39-04

DALLAS (CBS11) - An Air Force combat pilot's remains are back home more than 50 years after he was killed in the Vietnam War, and his son had a part in his long journey back.

Major Roy Knight said goodbye to his 5-year-old son, Brian Knight, at Dallas Love Field in January 1967.

It's a memory Brian still remembers well.

"As we were walking back to the car my mother was was just sobbing and that scared me," Knight said.

Knight was shot down in Laos just four months later and he was presumed dead. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Colonel. However, questions that had lingered for years were finally answered in June, when his remains were found in a crash area.

"They had been searching in my Dad's crash site area and they said we did find human remains," Knight said.

Brian followed in father's footsteps, serving in the Air Force, now working as a pilot for Southwest Airlines.

Colonel Knight's remains arrived in California on Wednesday, and it was Brian who had the honor of flying the plane that carried his father back home.

"I would like to be the one to bring him back to Love Field."

Colonel Knight and his son were welcomed back to Dallas with a water cannon salute, without passengers onboard knowing about the touching tribute.

"It's going to be a phenomenal experience for me," Knight said. "I think I'm going to very close to him during the flight. You know, you cant imagine what an honor it is for a son to be able to do that for his father."

Story by JD Miles, CBS 11 News