Major General Carol Timmons and that fateful day


Good afternoon,

The passing of retired Delaware Adjutant General Carol Timmons at 62 brought a host of tributes from the many people whose lives she touched over the years.

Timmons served as Adjutant General for two years, retiring last year after a four-decade-long career in the military.

The William Penn High School, Delaware Tech, and Wilmington University grad started out in the Delaware Air National Guard as its first female Air Police officer and went on to a storied career that included serving as a pilot on C-130 transports and helicopters and serving in many leadership roles. She did this in an era when female pilots faced many barriers.

Deployed numerous times overseas, Timmons was awarded the Bronze Star and other commendations.

One nearly-forgotten story from Timmons’ career as a commercial airline pilot for United emerged this morning.

The story, which came to light in 2011 when Timmons was promoted to general apparently disappeared from the archives of theNews Journalbut stuck around in a WHYY blog post from Jan Ting, a law professor and one-time Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Timmons was the first officer on a flight that could have been the fifth plane targeted by terrorists. As the tragedy unfolded, her flight was ordered back to the terminal at John F. Kennedy.

Four Middle Eastern men fled the flight and left behind what appeared to be evidence of ties to al-Qaeda.

The incident and the whereabouts of the four remain something of a mystery to this day.

Timmons’ account on theAir National Guardwebsite is less dramatic than Ting’s but no less compelling. Timmons’ top priority – calling her mother as the news unfolded.

Thanks, are in order to Brian DiSabatino, the CEO of Delaware construction manager EDiS who took to social media to share this story of a Delaware and an American hero. –Doug Rainey, Chief Content Officer

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