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Robert Frederick Sink Papers, 1908-1966

(Manuscript Collection #255)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Robert Frederick Sink Papers
Creator: Sink, Robert Frank
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1908-1966) consisting of correspondence, clippings, photographs, biography, military career.
Extent: 0.23 Cubic feet, 360 items, consisting of correspondence, clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

March 15, 1974, 85 items; Correspondence (1946-1966), clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous. Rec'd 3/15/1974. Gift of Mrs. Fred O. Sink, Sr. of Lexington, N.C.

February 18, 1977, (unnumbered addition); 245 items, 0.220 cubic feet; Correspondence (1953-1955), clippings, photographs, and miscellaneous. Rec'd 3/15/1974, 2/18/1977. Gift of Mrs. Robin Sink Reavis of Washington, D.C.

October 20, 2003, (unprocessed addition 1), 30 items, 0.010 cubic feet; Newsclippings (1942-1965) pertaining to the career of Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink (1905-1965), a graduate of West Point, a pioneer in the use of airborne warfare, who commanded the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Army Airborne Corps, during World War II, 1942-1945. He participated in the Allied Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne. After World War II, he served as Chief of Staff of the RYUKUS command (1949), assistant commander of the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea (1951), and member of the Joint Airborne Troop Board at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1954). In 1958, Sink was given command of the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) and the 18th Airborne. In 1960, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and took command of the U.S. Army in the Caribbean, a post he held until his retirement in 1961 due to poor health. Rec’d. 12/31/1977. Donor: Mrs. Robin Sink Reavis.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Robert Frederick Sink Papers (#255), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Fred O. Sink, Sr.
  • Gift of Mrs. Robin Sink Reavis

Processing Information

  • Processed by M. Elmore, January 1977

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink was born in Lexington, North Carolina on April 3, 1905. A 1927 graduate of West Point, Sink had a distinguished career as a pioneer in the use of airborne warfare. As commander of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Army Airborne Corps, he was sent to Europe in 1942. He subsequently participated in the Allied Invasion of Normandy, parachuting under cover of dark before seaborne troops landed. His troops saw action at the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne. After World War II< he served as Chief of Staff of the RYUKUS command (1949), assistant commander of the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea (1951), and member of the Joint Airborne Troop Board at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1954). In 1958, Sink was given command of the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) and the 18th Airborne. In 1960, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and took command of the U.S. Army in the Caribbean, a post he held until his retirement in 1961 due to poor health. Sink died at Fort Bragg in 1965.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Correspondence (1946-1966) is limited primarily to incidental material pertaining to personal and military functions. Several letters written by Sink to his mother reflect his close attachment to his family to the extent that he even apologized for drinking of alcohol by military personnel. He promises that no alcohol will be allowed at his camp if his mother will visit. Of particular significance is a letter describing the experiences of one of his men who was wounded at Bastongne. This letter describes battlefield medical treatment during World War II and is indicative of the devotion Sink's troops felt for him. In December of 1955, General Sink wrote from Brazil where he was stationed. He commented on travel difficulties, the water problem, a visit by Congressman Dewey Short of Missouri, the frequency of Brazilian holidays, and the use of temporary grade ranks. Included with this letter is a note from General Maxwell D. Taylor informing General Sink of his promotion to Brigadier General. Also included are letters from Generals Edward M. Almond, H. J. Jablonsky, Maxwell D. Taylor and Governor Terry Sanford expressing sympathy to Sink's mother upon his death in 1966.

The bulk of the collection consists of newspaper clippings and photographs which reflect every period of Sink's military career. Miscellaneous items include a commendation from General Taylor to Sink for meritorius service at West Point in 1945 and a program of the dedication of the Robert F. Sink Memorial Library at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. This item contains a complete biography of General Sink's career. Other miscellaneous items include General Sink's marriage announcement, early report cards, a United Press War Map of the Pacific Ocean, a safe conduct pass, and a travel journal kept by General Sink's parents Mr. and Mrs. Fred O. Sink, Sr. on a trip to Florida in the early days of the automobile.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Card Catalog Entries Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Reading Room's card catalog. This system is no longer maintained, but it is left in place to help on-site researchers locate particular topics in the collection.

Autograph Entries :

  • Almond, Edward M[allory]
  • Jablonsky, H[arvey] J[ulius]
  • Sanford, Terry
  • Taylor, Maxwell [Davenport]

Subject Entries :

  • BRAZIL— 1955
  • TRAVEL— Florida
  • U.S.— MILITARY— Army— Aviation
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Aerial Operations
  • WAR— WORLD WAR II— Battles— Bastongne, 1944-1945

Map Entry :

  • Pacific Ocean

Images below are listed alphabetically by subject. This list reflects only those portions of the collection for which negatives have been prepared.

MACARTHUR, DOUGLAS
Call Number: p-255/16
Date: 1940s

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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