An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Two brothers reunite in-flight

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Myles Stepp
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Air Force siblings and natives to Maspeth, N.Y., reunited in the skies over Colorado March 22. Despite a 13-year age difference and separate career paths, fate and strategic planning brought them together for a rare reunion.

Maj. Lewis DeMaso, 54th Air Refueling Squadron, KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, met up with his brother Col. William DeMaso who was flying an A-10 Thunderbolt II from Tucson, Ariz., to Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Major Lewis DeMaso refueled his older brothers aircraft at 21,000 feet. Both brothers said it was the flying highlight of their career.

"What are the odds that the both of us would be pilots? What are the odds that each of us would be flying planes designed to meet up in flight?," Major DeMaso said. "And due to our age difference, what are the odds that my brother would be still flying for the Air Force at 23 years of service?"

Colonel DeMaso originally planned to stop at Altus AFB to refuel but his flight schedule would not allow for a gas-and-go. Only an in-flight refueling mission would get Colonel DeMaso and his plane back to base on time. Before his departure from Tucson, preparations were made for an Altus AFB tanker to top off his aircraft.

"There was a slim chance that I would get a tanker and it was an astronomically smaller chance it would be my brother," said Colonel DeMaso, 23rd Wing Vice commander at Moody AFB.

It just so happened Major DeMaso was scheduled to fly for training that day and was informed that his brother would be passing over and needed fuel. Major DeMaso also brought along two extra boom operators to practice refueling a fighter plane.

"It was a win-win training situation for everybody," Major DeMaso said . "My brother was refueled, three booms received training and I got to see my brother."

As siblings, they have the opportunity to see each other during holidays or special occasions, but meeting one another in flight is an unusual story.

"I would imagine that this will be the first and last time I will get this opportunity," Major DeMaso said. "Years ago, if you told me I would have a chance to refuel my brother, I would say 'Prove it!'"