Sink, Robert Frederick, LTG

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Last Rank
Lieutenant General
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1960-1961, US Forces Caribbean (USFC)
Service Years
1927 - 1961
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Presidential Certificate of Appreciation


Lieutenant General

Eight Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

14 kb

Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Sink, Robert Frederick, LTG USA(Ret).
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Dec 13, 1965
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

US Southern Command US Strategic Command Inter American Defense Board US Army Retired

Belgian Fourragere Infantry Shoulder Cord Netherlands Orange Lanyard US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 French Fourragere

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink (April 3, 1905–December 13, 1965) was a United States Army officer during World War II, the Korean War, and early parts of the Vietnam War, though was most famous for his command of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.

Early career

Sink attended Duke University (then known as Trinity College) for one year before securing an appointment to the United States Military Academy. He graduated with the West Point Class of 1927, 174th in a Class of 203 (Cullum Number 8196) and commissioned as an Infantry Officer. Sink's initial assignment was to the 8th Infantry Regiment in Fort Screven, Georgia as a Second Lieutenant.

Sink took assignments in Puerto Rico (1929, 65th Infantry Regiment), at the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare School (1932), at Fort Meade (1932, 34th Infantry Regiment, with the Civilian Conservation Corps (1933 at McAlevy’s Fort, Pennsylvania), and returned to the 34th Infantry Regiment before heading off to attend the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia (1935).

In November 1937, after assignment to the 57th Infantry Regiment at Fort McKinley, in the Philippines, Sink returned to the United States and was assigned to the 25th Infantry Regiment at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where he served successively as company commander and regimental operations officer.

World War II

In 1940, he was assigned to the 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion at Fort Benning. Sink became one of the four percent of the army’s paratroopers qualified as a master parachutist and celebrated his birthday each year by making another jump.

He later commanded the 503rd Parachute Infantry Battalion and (later) Regiment. In July 1942 he was named as commander of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Toccoa, Georgia; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Sink commanded the 506th throughout World War II, turning down two promotions during the war to remain with the unit[1] (the regiment sometimes being referred to as the "Five-Oh-Sink') and became a close personal friend to Major Richard Winters. He made two combat jumps in command of the 506th (D-Day and Operation Market Garden), and commanded the Regiment at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Post war career

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 Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. in August 1948, graduating in June 1949. Sink then was transferred to the Ryukyus Command, and became chief of staff in October 1949. In January 1951, he was named assistant commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Korea.

He returned to the United States and became assistant commander of the 11th Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in December 1951. In February 1953, he assumed command at the 7th Armored Division at Camp Roberts, California. In November 1953, he became commanding general of the 44th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. In October 1954, Sink was assigned to the Joint Airborne Troop board at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 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 (CinC, Caribbean Command, Quarry Heights, Canal Zone). Lieutenant General Robert Frederick Sink retired in 1961, and died four years later in 1965.


Sink was married and had three children, and two stepchildren.

Other Comments:

Allied Decorations
  1. Distinguished Service Order (Britain)
  2. Belgian Order of Leopold, Officer grade, with Palm
  3. Croix de Guerre with Palm (Belgium)
  4. Belgian fourragere
  5. French Croix de Guerre avec Palme
  6. Dutch Bronze Lion
  7. Netherlands Orange Lanyard
  8. United Nations Korea Medal
  9. Korean Presidential Unit Citation


The following is a list of Sink's promotions in chronological order beginning with his graduation from the United States Military Academy as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry.

  1. Second Lieutenant (RA) 14 June 1927
  2. First Lieutenant (RA) 31 August 1933
  3. Captain (RA) 13 June 1937
  4. Major (US) 31 January 1941
  5. Lieutenant Colonel (US) 1 February 1942
  6. Colonel (US) 3 November 1942
  7. Major (RA) 14 June 1944
  8. Major General (US) 11 April 1948
  9. Lieutenant Colonel (RA) 15 July 1948
  10. Brigadier General (US) 13 February 1951
  11. Colonel (RA) 23 March 1951
  12. Brigadier General (RA) 11 April 1955
  13. Major General (RA) 14 April 1955
  14. Lieutenant General (RA) 8 September 1959


  • 8th Infantry Regiment
  • 34th Infantry Regiment
  • Civilian Conservation Corps
  • 57th Infantry Regiment
  • 25th Infantry Regiment
  • 501st Parachute Infantry Battalion
  • 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment
  • 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
  • 7th Infantry Division
  • 11th Airborne Division
  • 7th Armored Division
  • 44th Infantry Division
  • Joint Airborne Troop Board
  • Military Assistance Advisory Group, Brazil
  • XVIII Airborne Corps
  • Strategic Army Corps


The post library at Fort Campbell, Ky is named for LtG Robert F. Sink.


Robert Sink was portrayed in the HBO/BBC miniseries Band of Brothers by Vietnam veteran Captain Dale Dye (also the military advisor on the series).

The character of "Colonel Robert Stout" in the film A Bridge Too Far (1977), played by Elliott Gould, is also based on Sink.

Robert Sink was also portrayed in the video game Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, also played by Dale Dye.

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 Ronald Stassen, webmaster of WWII Paratrooper Webbase
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: Edward Hale
Brooks (CO, 2nd Armored Division); Omar N. Bradley (CO, 12th Army Group);
and George S.
Patton, Jr. (CO, Third 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 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 Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Airborne Glider BadgeMaster Parachutist (2 Combat Jumps)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Chemical School and Training Center (Staff) Fort McClellan, AL1st Battalion, 34th InfantryInfantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
Philippine Division25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)
101st Airborne Division National War CollegeHQ, Ryukyus Command (RYCOM) 7th Infantry Division
11th Airborne Division7th Armored Division44th Infantry DivisionXVIII Airborne Corps (18th Corps)
US Strategic Command, US Army Element, US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)Panama Canal DepartmentUS Forces Caribbean (USFC)
  1927-1929, HHC, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry
  1929-1932, 1st Battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment
  1932-1932, Chemical School and Training Center (Staff) Fort McClellan, AL
  1932-1935, HHC, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry
  1935-1935, Infantry Center and School (Staff) Fort Benning, GA
  1935-1937, 57th Infantry Regiment, 57th Infantry Regiment (PS)
  1937-1940, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1940-1942, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)
  1942-1945, HHC
  1945-1945, 101st Airborne Division
  1948-1949, National War College
  1949-1951, HQ, Ryukyus Command (RYCOM)
  1951-1951, 7th Infantry Division
  1951-1953, 11th Airborne Division
  1953-1953, 7th Armored Division
  1953-1954, 44th Infantry Division
  1955-1957, MAAG - Brazil
  1957-1958, XVIII Airborne Corps (18th Corps)
  1958-1959, US Strategic Command, US Army Element, US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM)
  1959-1961, Panama Canal Department
  1960-1961, US Forces Caribbean (USFC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Normandy Campaign (1944)/Operation Overlord/D-Day Airborne Landings
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Northern France Campaign (1944)
  1944-1944 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Operation Market Garden
  1944-1945 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Siege of Bastogne
  1944-1945 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
  1945-1945 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
  1945-1945 WWII - European Theater of Operations/Central Europe Campaign (1945)/Victory in Europe Day (VE Day - 8May45)
  1951-1951 Korean War/First UN Counteroffensive (1951)/Battle of the Imjin River
  1951-1951 Korean War/First UN Counteroffensive (1951)/Battle of Kapyong
 Colleges Attended 
Duke UniversityUnited States Military Academy
  1921-1923, Duke University
  1924-1927, United States Military Academy
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