Lake Lure Rest and Redistribution Center
The Lake Lure Rest and Redistribution Center was established in the town of Lake Lure (Rutherford County) by the Army Air Force (AAF) in July 1943 to provide 10 to 20 days of rest and relaxation for combat aviators and their wives. It was the first center of its kind in the nation. The AAF found that rest centers helped to deter combat fatigue and prepare aviators for future assignments. During their stay, the pilots were examined by surgeons and psychiatrists to determine their fitness for further combat.
The center occupied the former Lake Lure Inn, Rocky Broad Inn, and adjacent tracts, with additional barracks completed just before VJ Day. The Rutherford County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Rutherford County Library provided equipment, services, and books for the approximately 5,000 returnees processed during the center's two-year life. The last returnees left the camp on 15 Oct. 1945; permanent personnel vacated on 26 October. The center was officially closed on 1 Nov. 1945, and the buildings were returned to the original owners.
Clarence W. Griffin, The History of Rutherford County, 1937-1951 (1952).
J. J. Lichman, " AAF Shangri-La: Lake Lure Rest Center, North Carolina," Flying 35 (July 1944).
Sidney Shalett, "'Repair Stations' for the Battle-Weary," New York Times Magazine (23 Jan. 1944).
The Home Front, NC War Sites, Interactive Map, Charlotte Mecklenburg Story: http://www.cmstory.org/homefront/places/warSites.htm#
NC Museum of History Military Installations: http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/workshops/WWII/installations.PDF
Front of souvenir postcard packet Lake Lure, N.C. From Miscellaneous Postcard Collection, PhC.120, North Carolina State Archives, call #: PhC_120_3_39. Available from https://www.flickr.com/photos/north-carolina-state-archives/5637456445/ (accessed October 16, 2012).
1 January 2006 | Bell, John L., Jr.