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The Air Crew

The members of crew #2407 were:

Cpt Charlie H. Holton (A/C)
Cpt Rolf W. Ertresvaag (Pilot)
1/Lt Irwin E. Qualizza (Navigator)
1/Lt John T. Hart (Bombardier)
M/Sgt Richard C. Dimmig (Engineer)
S/Sgt Newell C. Fears (Radio)
S/Sgt Lester J. Rousseau (Radarman)
S/Sgt Richard D. Foringer (CFC)
S/Sgt Walter M. Martin Zoller (R Gunner)
S/Sgt John F. Catalano (L Gunner)
S/Sgt Carl J. Berndtson (T Gunner)

DFC Citation – Mission 43. Tokyo Urban Area (May 23-24)

For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight 23 May 1945 from a base in the Marianas Islands. These individuals were combat crew members of a pathfinder B-29 aircraft in a low level night incendiary attack on important industrial facilities in the city of Tokyo, Japan. On the bomb run, their plane was attacked by suicide planes and damaged by heavy, accurate and intense flak, but despite this the attack was pressed home and the target accurately located and bombed. The work of this crew aided materially in the destruction of more than twenty-two square miles of the built-up portion of Tokyo on this raid. The professional skill and teamwork demonstrated by these veterans of repeated assaults against the Japanese homeland reflect great credit on themselves and the Army Air Forces.

First Lieutenant IRVIN E. QUALIZZA as Navigator
First Lieutenant JOHN T. HART as Bombardier
Master Sergeant RICHARD C. DIMMIG as Flight Engineer
Staff Sergeant NEWELL O. FEARS as Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant RICHARD D. FORINGER as Central Fire Control Gunner
Staff Sergeant LESTER J. ROUSSEAU as Radar Gunner
Staff Sergeant WALTER M. ZOLLER as Left Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant JOHN F. CATALANO as Right Blister Gunner
Staff Sergeant EARL J. BERNDTSON as Tail Gunner

[Transcribed by David Wilson, son of Sgt Bernard E. Wilson (Gunner, “Anonymous IV”)]

A separate DFC Citation was prepared for Captain CHARLIE H. HOLTON, Aircraft Commander of #2407 on this mission.

In Memoriam

Holton, Charlie Hargis, 83 years old, passed away February 11, 2003 at home in Terrell, TX.  He received his U.S. Army Air Corps Pilot wings in November 1941 and went on to instruct aviation cadets in California, New Mexico and Texas.  With the 24th Squadron he completed 35 missions over Japan and led one of the longest flight time missions in WWII from Tinian to lay mines in the harbor at Vladivostok.  He received the Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters.  After his discharge with the rank of Major, he moved back to Terrell and became a successful businessman and for many years enjoyed a real estate career.  [6BG Newsletter, October 2003, p. 2]

The Airplanes

This crew flew “Holton’s Hellions” and “Incendiary Journey“.


Last updated 12/18/2010