Colonel Bob

COL Robert F. Sink
photo from the Currahee Scrapbook,
506th PIR 20 July 1942 - 4 July 1945

Lieutenant General Robert F. Sink

Born April 3, 1905, in Lexington, NC, Robert Frederick Sink began his military career upon graduation from West Point in 1927. His first assignment as a Second Lieutenant was with the Eight Infantry at Fort Screven, GA. In November 1929, he was assigned to the 65th Infantry at San Juan, Puerto Rico. In March 1932, he joined the 34th Infantry at Fort Meade, MD, and remained with this unit until July 1933, when he was assigned to duty with the Civilian Conservation Corps at McAlevy's Fort, PA until December of that same year. He then returned to the 34th Infantry.

Following graduation from the Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA, in September 1934, he was assigned to the 57th Infantry at Fort McKinley, Philippine Islands. He returned to the United States in November 1937, and was assigned to the 25th Infantry at Fort Huachuca, AZ, where he served successively as Company Commander and Regimental Operations Officer.

Sink's first encounter with the airborne took place in November 1940, when he was assigned to the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion at Fort Benning. He later commanded the 503rd Parachute Infantry Battalion and the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment. In July 1942, he was named as Commander of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Toccoa, GA; Fort Benning, GA; and Fort Bragg, NC.

In September 1943, he moved to Europe with the 506th PIR, commanding it until the end of hostilities there. On August 12, 1945, Sink was named Assistant Division Commander of the 101st Airborne Division.

In December 1945, Sink returned to the United States, and the following month assumed command of the infantry detachment of the United States Military Academy. He entered the National War College at Washington, DC, in August 1948, graduating in June 1949.

Sink then was transferred to the Ruckus Command, and became Chief of Staff in October 1949. In January 1951, he was named Assistant Commander of the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea.

He returned to the United States and became Assistant Commander of the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY, in December 1951. In February 1953, he assumed command at the Seventh Armored Division at Camp Roberts, CA. In November 1953, he became Commanding General of the 44th Infantry Division At Fort Lewis, WA.

In October 1954, Sink was assigned to the Joint Airborne Troop Board at Fort Bragg, NC. In early 1955, he was transferred to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in April 1955, assumed the dual functions of Chairman of the United States Delegation to the Joint Brazil-United States Military Commission and Chief of Army Section, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Brazil.

He returned to the United States and assumed Command of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg in May 1957. In May 1958, he was announced as Commander, Strategic Army Corps (STRAC), United States Army.

His last major command was as Commander of United States forces in Panama.

Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink retired in 1961. He died on 13 December 1965. He is buried in Section 1, Grave 320A in Arlington National Cemetery.

Sink's Daughters Donate Father's Medals to Library: July 20, 2010, article (with photos)

photo from LTC Trevor J. Bredenkamp
(A Co, 1st BN, Commander and Unit Historian, ROK, 1998-1999)
Sink at Mackall, NC
COL Robert F. Sink at REGT HQ, Camp Mackall, NC, 1943.
This photo and COL Sink's letter to the men of the 506th PIR can be
found on page 3 of the March 1943 issue of the Para-Dice Magazine.

photos from Vasco Santinho
Angoville au Plain, 1944

In September 2003, Vasco Santinho from Lisbon, Portugal, who is interested in the history of the 101st Airborne Division in WWII, visited Angoville au Plain, France, the site of the 506th PIR Command Post on June 6, 1944, after the 506th PIR had jumped into Normandy.

(L): photo of COL Robert F. Sink, taken in June 1944 in the doorway of the house where he stayed while he was in Angoville au Plain
(R): photo taken by Vasco Santinho in September 2003 of the current owner of the house, holding the 1944 photo of COL Sink

photos from Ronald Stassen
Angoville au Plain, 2007
2007 photos of the house where COL Sink stayed while he was in Angoville au Plain.

photos from the 101st Airborne Division 1957 Yearbook
LTG Theodor Tolsdorff

May 8, 1945: Colonel Sink (center) accepts the surrender of the German LXXXII
Corps from the Commanding General, LTG Theodor Tolsdorff (R of center)

Taylor & Sink

May 1945

(L-R): unidentified 506th PIR captain; MG Maxwell D. Taylor (CO, 101st Airborne Division);
COL Robert F. Sink;
unidentified German prisoner; three US Army generals: (?) Jacob
"Jake" Loucks
Devers (CO, 12th Army Group); Omar N. Bradley (CO, 12th Army Group);
and (?) Alexander McCarrell "Sandy" Patch (CO, 7th Army)

Could this be a photo of "German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring . . . who motored into
Berchtesgaden and surrendered to Major General Maxwell D. Taylor . . . of the 101st
Airborne Division, 7th US Army, May 13, 1945"?

photo from Jason Shaw, grandson of CPL Gilbert D. Shaw
[HQ (LMG Platoon), 2nd BN, 506th PIR, 1942-1945]

Sink, Taylor, and Jones

(L-R): COL Robert F. Sink; MG Maxwell D. Taylor (CO, 101st Airborne Division);
and SSG Claude "Peewee" Jones (HQ, 2nd BN, LMG Platoon, 1942-1945)

Could this have been when MG Taylor spoke to the 506th in June 1945, as described
in the June 29, 1945 issue of the Paradice Press?

photo from LTC Trevor J. Bredenkamp
(A Co, 1st BN, Commander and Unit Historian, ROK, 1998-1999)
Plane 1 Reunion Jump

Handwritten on photo:

To: Mat --
The old reunion jump people
of plane 1 - in Holland and
Normandie - made in France 21 Sept 45 --
Best wishes -- R F Sink

"Mat" is MAJ Salve H. Matheson (506th PIR Regimental S3)
(L-R): COL Robert F. Sink (Assistant Division Commander of the 101st Airborne
Division at the time of this reunion jump in Joigny, France)
MAJ Salve H. Matheson (506th PIR Regimental S3)
LT Bruno E. Schroeder (Intelligence SGT in Normandy)
PVT Oscar S. "Skip" Simpson

name unknown (SGT, REGT Medical Detachment; later, OPS SGT)
CPL Charles N. Ackers
Angelo F.
Paul F. Van Pelt (COL Sink's Orderly)
SGT Harold Anderson (S4 Secretary).

photo from Sally Campbell, widow of Andrew Patrick "Pat" Campbell
[REGT HQ; HQ (Supply), 2nd BN, 506th PIR, 1942-1945]
Sink & Campbell

(L-R): BG Robert F. Sink; GEN Wayne C. Smith; unknown; unknown; Pat Campbell,
and unknown. This photo was taken at Fort Campbell, KY in 1952, when Sink was the
Assistant Commander of the 11th Airborne Division.

From COL(R) (Dr.) Maheshwar P. Sen (The Indian Army):
"The second man from the left is GEN Wayne C. Smith whom I can figure out from
the History Book of 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, published in 1955."

These pages are maintained the
506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association (Airmobile - Air Assault)
This page updated 04/06/13