Maspeth brothers reconnect – in mid-flight
Apr 27, 2010 | 4080 views | 0 0 comments | 86 86 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Operating an A-10 Thunderbolt II, Colonel William DeMaso, 23rd Wing Vice commander of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, flies parallel to younger brother Major Lewis DeMaso, 54th Air Refueling Squadron, KC-135 Stratotanker pilot at Altus Air Force Base, March 21. Colonel DeMaso received fuel from his brother Major DeMaso for his A-10 during his return trip from Tucson back to Moody AFB. (U.S. Air Force Courtesy Photo)
Brothers Colonel William DeMaso and Major Lewis DeMaso are both members of the United States Air Force, but they are stationed at different air force bases, so the only chance they get to see each other is during holidays and special occasions.

Imagine their surprise when Major DeMaso, 54th Air Refueling Squadron, KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, was assigned to refuel his older brother’s A-10 Thunderbolt II in the skies 21,000 feet above Colorado.

Colonel DeMaso, 23rd Wing Vice commander at Moody Air Force Base, was flying his aircraft from Tucson, Arizona, to Moody Air Force Base in Georgia on March 22, but his flight schedule would not allow for a gas-and-go at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma as planned. Arrangements were made for an Altus Air Force Base tanker to top off his aircraft to ensure that he would get back to base on time.

"There was a slim chance that I would get a tanker and it was an astronomically smaller chance it would be my brother," Colonel DeMaso told Airman 1st Class Myles Stepp of 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs.

On that particular day, Major DeMaso was scheduled to fly for training when he learned that his brother’s plane was passing over and needed refueling. He marveled at the fact that his brother, 13 years his senior, was still flying for the Air Force after 23 years of service; that they were both pilots; and that they just so happened to be unwittingly flying planes that were to meet in flight.

"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!'"

Three boom operators joined him on the flight so they could practice refueling a fighter plane.

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

The DeMaso brothers grew up in Maspeth and are both graduates of Our Lady of Hope School. Colonel DeMaso is a Fordham Prep ‘83 graduate and an Air Force Academy ’87 graduate. Major DeMaso is an Archbishop Molloy High School ’96 graduate and a Siena College ‘00 graduate.

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