John Wooldridge

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Wing Commander John De Lacy Wooldridge, DSO, DFC and Bar, DFM, (18 July 1919 – 27 October 1958) was a British film composer.

Early life[edit]

Wooldridge was born in Yokohama, Japan and was educated at St Paul's School, London. A talented music composer and academic, he studied music under Sibelius and was a friend and contemporary of William Walton.

World War II[edit]

He joined the Royal Air Force as a Sergeant pilot in 1938. During World War II he was a member of RAF Bomber Command and flew a total of ninety-seven operational bombing sorties.[1]

Affectionately known as 'Dim', he served with 207 Sqn based at RAF Bottesford flying Avro Manchesters. He then served with No. 106 Squadron RAF as one of Guy Gibson's Flight Commanders, before being appointed commanding officer of No. 105 Squadron RAF in March 1943, which specialised in low level precision daylight bombing using de Havilland Mosquito aircraft.

He wrote a book, Low Attack about these operations in 1944.

In May 1944 while in America he volunteered to ferry one of the first Canadian-built Mosquitoes across the Atlantic to Britain, and accompanied by F/O C. J. Brown as Navigator, set a new record for the Atlantic crossing from Goose Bay, Labrador to the UK, of 5hrs, 46 minutes.[1] Before this the record for the Labrador-Britain route had been held by a BOAC Liberator at 7hrs 56 minutes.

He was aeronautical adviser to the Petroleum Warfare Department during the development of the Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation (FIDO) fog dispersal system.[2]

Film composer[edit]

Wooldridge put this war time experience to good use when he contributed the score, as well as co-writing the screenplay to the 1952 Dirk Bogarde film Appointment in London.

His first marriage in 1942 to Mary Latham, with whom he had a son, Morris Latham, also a pilot, ended in divorce.

He subsequently married to the actress Margaretta Scott in 1948, with whom he had a daughter, Susan Wooldridge, also an actress; and a son, Hugh Wooldridge.

Wooldridge was killed in a car accident in England aged 39 and is buried at St Lawrence's Church Cholesbury, Buckinghamshire with his second wife, Margaretta.

Film scores[edit]


  1. ^ Falconer, Jonathon (1998). The Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945. Stroud: Sutton Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7509-1819-5. 
  2. ^

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