First woman to head Delaware National Guard dies

DOVER — Carol Timmons, head of the Delaware National Guard from 2017 to 2019, died Sunday. She was 62, according to the guard.

A cause of death was not released.

Maj. Gen. Timmons served as one of the first female combat pilots and the first female brigadier general and adjutant general in the Delaware National Guard.

“Our Delaware National Guard Family has lost a true American hero,” Maj. Gen. Michael Berry, Delaware Guard’s current Adjutant General, said in a statement. “Maj. Gen. Carol Timmons personified excellence while serving in our profession of arms.

“She was a true warrior who understood the importance that each service member plays in the defense of our nation and our way of life. She ensured all members of her team had a voice and always put the welfare of her military family members ahead of her own. She was an outstanding officer, leader and role model, and her dedication to our state and country will be missed.”

She began her military career in 1977 as an enlisted member in the Delaware Air National Guard and was the first female air policeman for the 166th Airlift Wing. She then transferred to the Delaware Army National Guard and earned her commission in 1980 from Officer Candidate School.

In 1981 she earned her Army pilot wings, and four years after that, she was awarded her Air Force pilot wings.

She took part in numerous contingencies and seven deployments, including Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Joint Guard, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve.

She accrued more than 5,000 flight hours in the C-130H “Hercules”, C-141 “Starlifter” and the UH-1 “Huey” including more than 400 combat flight hours.

Gov. John Carney in a statement called her a “pioneer” and “the epitome of a public servant.”

Ms. Timmons is survived by her wife, Lynn. Funeral information will be provided in a future update.