Clifton E. "Cliff" Wooldridge (#11116651)

Picture taken August, 2011

Place of Birth
Date of Birth

Cambridge, Massachusetts
March 3, 1919

308th Engineer
83rd Infantry
Good Conduct medal, American Theater Campaign Ribbon, Victory Metal, European African Middle Eastern theater Campaign Ribbon and the Legion of Honor Medal from the French Government

Clifton E. Wooldridge was born on March 3, 1919 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to going to the Center, he lived in Woburn, Massachusetts for 30 years, then Salem, NH and Stoneham, MA before moving to Alton Bay.

Cliff enlisted the service on November 12, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts and served with the 83rd Infantry Division, Co. C, 308th Engineers.

After returning home from the war Cliff worked with his father running the family business, Wooldridge Press Inc. in Boston, MA. After the death of his father, his own son joined the business and in the late 1990s they moved the business to Stoneham, MA where it continued until Cliff retired. He would share his experience and stories with everyone. He was very active in the 83rd Infantry Division Association for many many years and served as treasurer of the association. He also was the editor and publisher of the associations "Thunderbolt" magazine and attended most every annual reunion. Cliff was a very active man, he would snow ski, snowmobile, water ski and loved to swim and boat. He had a wonderful sense of humor. He also enjoyed many years of fellowship at the Alton Bay Christian Conference Center.

Clifton E. Wooldridge, 96, of Alton Bay, NH passed away peacefully on June 20, 2015 at the Wolfeboro Bay Center in Wolfeboro, NH where he had resided for the last 15 months. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley (Dillon) of 60 years in 2001.


At the Reunion in West Point Cliff Wooldridge told me the following stories

Camp "Mud-Berry"
"Camp Atterbury was a very muddy place, we began to call it 'Mud-Berry' it was really bad. When my daughter came to visit she was running around and fell. She was all covered in mud and I took her in my barracks where I washed her and her clothes. After a while she was all clean again and she left. A few days later I was called to come to 'the Old Man' (the CO). He didn't look happy and told me that he heard that there had been a female person in my barracks. I was stunned, and he gave me holy hell. When he was finished and he told me I was dismissed I stopped at the door turned around and asked him: "Can I ask a question, sir? Off the record." "Sure" he said. So I asked him what he would have done in that exact situation. He sat there thinking for a few minutes and finally told me: "Probably exactly the same thing." and that was it, I never heard anything of it again!"

Oranges & Coals
"After the Battle of the Bulge we were taken to a small Belgian town, to bad I can't remember the name of it. All of our soldiers were taken to Belgian families and they took good care of us. There were some families who didn't wanted US GI's but in the end they would probably regret that choise. Our family had a little girl of about 3 years old and it turned out she had never tasted oranges before. Well, we just happened to get oranges for breakfast next morning and me and my buddy took some of the box. Our host helped to squeeze them for her daughter and she enjoyed the Orange juice so much we decided to go back and get the whole box! We ate all the oranges so the next morning our outfit had no breakfast. Our CO who knew what we had done said: "Well we were supposed to have oranges for breakfast but apparently someone thought someone needed them more than us." Although he knew what we had done, we never heard anything about it.
The civilians helped us as much as they could and even used their coal to warm bricks to lay them in our beds. When we were about to leave, I said to the Sergeant that we should get these people some coal. Next morning he got me a 2,5 half ton truck and I loaded it with coal and dropped it of in the frontyard of the home we were staying in. Off course there were other people who came to have some coal and also those who didn't wanted US GI's in their houses. We thought they didn't really deserved so I got some shovels and made the family open the windows to their basement. Together we shoveled the whole pile into the cellar. Many people were really mad at me but, I did not care. I was leaving anyway!