WWII Pilots Recuperated at Lake Lure

The Lake Lure Inn, circa 1932. Image from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries.On November 1, 1945, the Lake Lure Rest and Rehabilitation Center in Rutherford County closed.

The facility was created by the Army Air Force two years earlier to reduce the effects of wartime fatigue, especially flying fatigue. Combat pilots and other servicemen in high demand positions were able to spend between 10 and 20 days at the mountain retreat to unwind and prepare for additional missions or continued service. The Air Force leased the Lake Lure Inn, where officers were housed, and the Rocky Broad Inn, which served as quarters for enlisted men.

 

 

While stationed at the center, the aviators were examined by staff physicians and psychiatrists to determine their suitability for additional combat flights. During their stay, the men were offered a full slate of recreational opportunities from outdoor activities to reading and crafts. Religious services were held to nurture the servicemen’s spiritual well-being.

The Rutherford County Red Cross and the local library were very supportive of the center and the men it served. During its two-year existence, more than 5,000 servicemen were assigned there. Following the closure of the Lake Lure Rest and Rehabilitation Center, the property reverted to the previous owners.

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