FORT CAMPBELL, KY, July 20, 2010 - The daughters of one of the 101st Airborne Division's most famous officers donated their father's medals and memorabilia Tuesday, to the Fort Campbell library that bears his name.
Robin Sink McClelland and Margaret Sink Swenson, along with the command team of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, Currahees, unveiled LTG(R) Robert F. Sink's medals, boots and portrait during a ceremony that marked both the 68th birthday of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and Sink's valuable contributions to the storied "Band of Brothers."
"This occasion of course holds special significance to the regiment," said COL Sean M. Jenkins, current commander of the 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th BCT. Colonel Sink led this great regiment many years ago and left boots that each of his subsequent commanders, struggle to fill, said Jenkins. "It is because of the immense pride in our history and the dedication to acknowledge and remember the sacrifices made for this regiment, by Colonel Sink and others, that we are so moved to be witness to this special unveiling today."
Jenkins said that the donation of Sink's medals, including three Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit and the Croix de Guerre avec Palme, would help to "impress a more vivid picture" of the sacrifices made by previous Currahee soldiers, upon the latest generation of 506th war-fighters.
Sink assumed command of the 506th
PIR in July 1942 and remained with the unit until the end of
hostilities in Europe. The exploits of the 506th during WWII
are chronicled in the book 'Band of Brothers,' by Stephen Ambrose,
which later became a popular televised mini-series of the same
"I met him one time," said Robert Parks, a former [G Company, 3rd Battalion, 506th PIR] paratrooper who served under Sink through the European campaign. "I started in Toccoa, when he was there and went all the way through with him," said Parks, who made the trip from Buchanan, TN for Tuesday's ceremony.
Parks said that Sink once called
him into his office while still state-side and asked him why
he wanted to be a paratrooper in the 506th.
Sink's medals will be restored and put on permanent display in the LTC Robert F. Sink Library, which was built in his honor in 1967.
"This will be a nice addition to things that we already have, relating to him," said James Moore, the supervisory librarian.
Moore said that he is excited that the 170,000 visitors to the library each year, will get a chance to connect with Sink through the donations made by his daughters.
Sink's daughter Margaret said that bringing the medals back to Fort Campbell was the right thing to do.
"We used to go to junk shops and things like that and I was always appalled by all the military stuff that I'd see there and I thought, how could the families do that," she said. "I was just so happy to find a home for this stuff."