Robert Frederick Sink Papers, 1908-1967, undated

Manuscript Collection #255

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Robert Frederick Sink Papers
    Creator: Sink, Robert Frank
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers (1908-1967, undated) pertaining to the military career and personal life 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 U.S. Army Airborne Corps, during World War II, 1942-1945, participating in the Allied Invasion of Normandy (1944) and the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne, Belgium (1944-1945); and served as Chief of Staff of the RYUKUS command based on Okinawa, Japan (1949); as Assistant Commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Korea (1951); as a member of the Joint Airborne Troop Board at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (1954); and as commander of the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) and the 18th Airborne (1958); he was promoted to lieutenant general, in 1959, and took command of the U.S. Army in the Caribbean, a post he held until he retired in 1961 due to poor health; he died in 1965; the collection consists of correspondence, clippings, manuscripts, photographs & printed materials.
    Extent: 0.55 Cubic feet, 269 items, 1 archival box, 3 oversized folders, correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, photographic prints, & printed materials., consisting of correspondence, clippings, photographs, printed materials, and oversized clippings and a war map of Asia and the Pacific.
  • Description
     

    The Robert Frederick Sink Papers are arranged in original order in 5 series. Curators have transferred oversized materials to separate folders (Series 5)

    Series 1: Correspondence (1946-1966) is limited primarily to incidental material pertaining to personal and military matters held in one folder (#255.1.a). Several letters written by Sink to his mother, Marcy Cecil (Mrs. Frederick O., Sr.) Sink, reflect his close attachment to his family to the extent that he even apologized for drinking of alcohol by military personnel. Of particular significance is a letter describing the experiences of one of his men who was wounded during the Battle of the Bulge, at Bastogne, Belgium. This letter describes battlefield medical treatment during World War II and shows how Sink's troops felt about him. It also includes a letter Sink wrote, in December of 1955, 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 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 1965.

    Series 2: Clippings (1927 – 1965) consist of one folder (#255.1.b) which documents Sink’s military training and promotions primarily as reflected in North Carolina newspapers probably compiled by Sink's mother.

    Series 3: Photographs (1927 – 1960) including two folders (#255.1.c - #255.1.d). The photographs documents family events, Sink’s student days at West Point, Army banquets that Sink attended, military planning and drills, and meetings with various army personnel, including Gen. MacArthur (P-16; Folder #255.1.c), and a photo showing Sink in full military garb that is worthy of digitization (P-48; Folder #255.1.d).

    Series 4: Printed Materials (1914 – 1967) consists of three folder (#255.1.e - #255.1.g) including brochures, newsletters, and pamphlets documenting the 6th Army Basketball Tournament (1953), the dedication of the Robert F. Sink Memorial Library (1967) and the Post Library at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (undated); also a Safe Conduct Pass issued by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in English & Japanese when Sink was on Okinawa; also a memorandum notebook diary probably written by Sink’s mother describing an automobile trip she took with Sink's father and several others to attend the Patriotic Sons of America (PSOA) convention in Jacksonville, FL (1919).

    Series 5: Oversized Materials (1908 – 1967) consists of three folders (#255.os1 - #255.os3) primarily including oversized clippings transferred from folder (#255.1.b); also includes a United Press War Map [ca. 1941] documenting World War II in Asia and the Pacific Theater.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink was born in Lexington, North Carolina on April 3, 1905. A 1927 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at 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 (1944), parachuting under cover of dark before seaborne troops landed. His troops saw action at the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne (1944-1945). After World War II, Sink served as Chief of Staff of the RYUKUS command, based in Okinawa, Japan (1949), as assistant commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Korea (1951), and as a member of the Joint Airborne Troops 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. General Sink was married to Mary Cecil Sink and had three children and two adopted children. He died at Fort Bragg in 1965 of pulmonary emphysema.

  • Administrative Information
     
    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, (addition #1); 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, (addition #2), 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.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mrs. Fred O. Sink, Sr., March 15, 1974
    Gift of Mrs. Robin Sink Reavis, February 18, 1977, October 20, 2003

    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.

    Processing Information

    Processing, container list, finding aid by HIST 5910 student Jacob Parks, April 20, 2016; revised by Jonathan Dembo, May 3, 2016

    Processed by M. Elmore, January 1977

    Encoded by Apex Data Services, May 2002

Container List

  • Clippings
     

    • Box 1
       
      Newspaper clipping (1927 - 1965) concerning Robert Sink's military training and promotions through his service in the US Military, including a section in the U.S. News & World Report (May 30, 1958) and Time Magazine (June 2, 1958). Common newspapers include The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), and other North Carolina newspapers. 124 items. 130 p. Note : Brittle, torn, fragile ; needs conservation ; items unable to date are filed last.
  • Printed Material
     

    • Box 1
       
      Brochures (1953 - 1967) from the Finals of the 6th Army Basketball Tournament (1953), dedication of the Robert F. Sink Memorial Library (1967), and brochure from the Post Library in Fort Campbell Kentucky (undated) 5 items. 12 p.
      Report Cards for Robert Sink (1914-1922) ; pamphlets from the Screaming Eagle Newsletter (1953) ; Armed Forces Day, Fort Bragg (1959) ; "Inside Okinawa" (undated) ; Safe Conduct Pass issued by Douglas MacArthur ; also a memorandum notebook containing a manuscript account of an automobile roundtrip from Lexington, NC to Jacksonville, FL to attend the Patriotic Sons of America convention, probably written by Gen. Sink's mother (1919) 10 items. 94 p.
      Wedding Invitation (1932, undated) Broadsides, "Happy Birthday Brigadier General Robert F. Sink Menu," (1951) "Artillery Demonstration," (undated) and a farewell letter to Col. Robert Sink (undated) 4 items. 5 p.
  • Oversize
     

    Newspaper clippings (1908 - 1965, undated) relating to the career and death of Robert Sink. 20 items. 26 p. ; Note : Filed oversized ; includes United Press International proof of Sink's obituary ; brittle, torn, fragile ; needs conservation ; items unable to date are filed last.
    Newspaper clippings (1942 - 1965) relating to the career and death of Robert Sink. 20 items. 21 p. Note : Brittle, torn, fragile ; needs conservation ; items unable to date are filed last.
    United Press War Map [ca. 1941] ; Distributed by United Feature Syndicate ; Including individual maps of the Pacific Ocean, Japan, Hawaii, The World, Philipinnes, East Indies, French Indo China, Burma, Thailand, British Malaya ; Showing Naval Bases, Vital Air Distances, Fortifications, Burma Road, Pear Harbor, Singapore, Etc. © by C. S. Hammond & Co., New York City, NY. 1 item. 1 p. 27" x 27.5" Note : Does not show European Theater of Operations.

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Container List

  • Clippings
     

    • Box 1
       
      Newspaper clipping (1927 - 1965) concerning Robert Sink's military training and promotions through his service in the US Military, including a section in the U.S. News & World Report (May 30, 1958) and Time Magazine (June 2, 1958). Common newspapers include The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), and other North Carolina newspapers. 124 items. 130 p. Note : Brittle, torn, fragile ; needs conservation ; items unable to date are filed last.
  • Printed Material
     

    • Box 1
       
      Brochures (1953 - 1967) from the Finals of the 6th Army Basketball Tournament (1953), dedication of the Robert F. Sink Memorial Library (1967), and brochure from the Post Library in Fort Campbell Kentucky (undated) 5 items. 12 p.
      Report Cards for Robert Sink (1914-1922) ; pamphlets from the Screaming Eagle Newsletter (1953) ; Armed Forces Day, Fort Bragg (1959) ; "Inside Okinawa" (undated) ; Safe Conduct Pass issued by Douglas MacArthur ; also a memorandum notebook containing a manuscript account of an automobile roundtrip from Lexington, NC to Jacksonville, FL to attend the Patriotic Sons of America convention, probably written by Gen. Sink's mother (1919) 10 items. 94 p.
      Wedding Invitation (1932, undated) Broadsides, "Happy Birthday Brigadier General Robert F. Sink Menu," (1951) "Artillery Demonstration," (undated) and a farewell letter to Col. Robert Sink (undated) 4 items. 5 p.
  • Oversize
     

    Newspaper clippings (1908 - 1965, undated) relating to the career and death of Robert Sink. 20 items. 26 p. ; Note : Filed oversized ; includes United Press International proof of Sink's obituary ; brittle, torn, fragile ; needs conservation ; items unable to date are filed last.
    Newspaper clippings (1942 - 1965) relating to the career and death of Robert Sink. 20 items. 21 p. Note : Brittle, torn, fragile ; needs conservation ; items unable to date are filed last.
    United Press War Map [ca. 1941] ; Distributed by United Feature Syndicate ; Including individual maps of the Pacific Ocean, Japan, Hawaii, The World, Philipinnes, East Indies, French Indo China, Burma, Thailand, British Malaya ; Showing Naval Bases, Vital Air Distances, Fortifications, Burma Road, Pear Harbor, Singapore, Etc. © by C. S. Hammond & Co., New York City, NY. 1 item. 1 p. 27" x 27.5" Note : Does not show European Theater of Operations.


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