Like Yossarian, Lt. Fish sought a medical diagnosis of mental instability in order to ground himself. Such a diagnosis, "aero-anxiety" was received from Dr. Marino, but would this be enough to get Lt. Fish home? Click image to read this post.
Bologna: A good time to go see Rome
Knowing the risks that would be faced over Bologna, Yossarian takes every effort he can think of to avoid having to fly there. Similarly, Lt. Fish also found a way to avoid the Bologna missions. Click on image to read this post.
Avignon: The Mission on Which Yossarian Lost His Nerve
Avignon is described as "the mission on which Yossarian lost his nerve." Lieutenants Heller and Fish flew in the same formation on August 15, 1944 on a mission to Avignon that prompted Heller to later state "after Avignon, all I wanted to do was go home." Click on picture for to read further.
Ferrara & The Spam Salad
Three key missions are used in Catch-22 to plot Yossarian's journey as he morphs from gung-ho soldier to realizing his officers may never let him leave and actively seeking another way out. The Ferrara missions are during the time when Yossarian fully dedicates himself to carrying out the military's objectives. Click image to read more.
West of Pianosa
Catch-22 opens with a curious disclosure right before the dedication page stating: "The island of Pianosa lies in the Mediterranean Sea eight miles south of Elba. It is very small and obviously could not accommodate all of the actions described. Like the setting of this novel, the characters too, are fictitious.” Click image to read more...
This is “Pinpoint Bombing”
"This outstanding achievement, made possible by unsurpassed teamwork which combined exceptional planning with indomitable courage, flying skill and precision bombing, completely frustrated the enemy in his attempt to block the entrance of this strategic harbor and naval base." (340th Bombardment Group Unit Citation, Dec. 27, 1944) Click image to read more...
The Setzer Paper
My research received a huge boost when I came across a paper written by Daniel Setzer, titled “Historical Sources for the Events in Joseph Heller’s Novel, Catch-22.” Click image to read more...
Catch-22’s Golden Anniversary
One item in the Catch-22 50th Anniversary Edition appendix was a portion of a large handwritten table Heller used to organize the novel. Down one side were the mission limit levels, down the other side was a timeline of the war, and each column represented one of the main characters. Click image to read more...
Lt. Fish’s WWII Diary
The leatherbound diary was tucked away alongside items collected by my grandparents over nearly a century, but my father recognized it immediately while cleaning out my grandparents house after their passing. During my youth, this was the diary my father suggested I compare to Joseph Heller’s classic novel Catch-22. Click image to read more...