Summary — Chapter 27: Nurse Duckett
The following morning, Yossarian puts his hand up Nurse Duckett’s skirt as she is smoothing the sheets at the bottom of his bed. She screams and hurries away. Dunbar then touches her bosom from behind. She is rescued by an angry doctor. Yossarian attempts to plead insanity. He claims that he has a recurring dream. It is about a fish. He is given an appointment with the hospital psychiatrist, Major Sanderson. However, Sanderson is more interested in talking about his own problems than any issue of Yossarian’s. Friends come to see Yossarian in hospital. Again, Dobbs offers to do away with Colonel Cathcart. Yossarian says that he believes that people are trying to kill him. He says that he has not adjusted to the reality of the war. Major Sanderson thinks that Yossarian is truly crazy and ought to be sent home. However, there is a mistake caused by the identity confusion created by Yossarian and Dunbar earlier in their hospital stay. A. Fortiori is the one who is sent home. Yossarian is angry. When he goes to see Doc Daneeka, he finds that Daneeka refuses to ground Yossarian for reason of insanity. He asks the rhetorical question of who would be left to fight if all the insane men were sent home.
Summary – Chapter 28: Dobbs
When visiting Dobbs, he tells him he can proceed with killing Colonel Cathcart. However, Dobbs has now completed his sixty missions and awaits being sent home. He doesn’t have a reason to kill Colonel Cathcart anymore. Yossarian argues that Colonel Cathcart will increase the number of required missions again. Dobbs declares that he will wait to see what happens but that maybe Orr would help Yossarian with killing the colonel. While Yossarian was in the hospital, Orr crashed his plane once again. He was found in the ocean. As Milo had taken out the tanks of carbon dioxide to use in producing ice cream sodas, none of the life jackets were functioning. Orr is now tinkering with a stove. He wants to build it in the tent that he and Yossarian share. He says that Yossarian should try to fly a mission with him. This would be for practice in case he ever finds himself having to make a crash landing. Yossarian thinks moodily about the second mission of Bologna of which he has heard rumors. Orr is irritating him by making noise. Yossarian finds it relaxing to imagine murdering him. The two men discuss women. Orr declares that they dislike Yossarian. Yossarian says that they are crazy. Orr informs Yossarian that he is aware that Yossarian has requested not to fly with him. He offers to let Yossarian know why a naked girl was smacking him with her shoe. This happened in Rome, outside Nately’s prostitute’s sister’s room. Laughing, Yossarian says he doesn’t want to know. Orr’s plane again crashes into the water the next time he flies a mission. On this occasion, his survival raft floats in the opposite direction of the others. He disappears.
Summary — Chapter 29: Peckem
Scheisskopf is now a colonel, and General Peckem has transferred him to his staff. The men are dismayed by this news. Peckem thinks this was a good move. He believes that it will boost his strength in comparison to General Dreedle, his rival. Colonel Scheisskopf is disappointed to find out that he is unable to have his wife accompany him and that he will not be able to have conduct parades in the afternoon. Scheisskopf soon irritates colleagues in Group Headquarters. Peckem brings him along on an inspection of Colonel Catchart’s squadron briefing. While at the preliminary briefing, the men are upset to find out that they must bomb an innocent village, making it rubble. They don’t realize that the sole purpose of the mission is to get excellent aerial photography to impress General Peckem. Peckem and Scheisskopf arrive. Cathcart becomes annoyed when he finds that another colonel has appeared to be his rival. He delivers the briefing personally. While he isn’t very confident and feels nervous, he manages to get through it. He feels proud that he was able to do the job under pressure.
Summary — Chapter 30: Dunbar
While on the bombing run, Yossarian experiences a flashback. It is of the mission during which Snowden passed away. This makes him panic. McWatt begins doing daredevil stunts. This makes him angry and he threatens to murder McWatt if he fails to follow orders. He is concerned that McWatt might hold a grudge. However, once the mission is done, McWatt appears to only care about Yossarian’s death. Yossarian has started seeing Nurse Duckett. He makes love with her on the beach. They like to sit and look at the ocean. While they do this, Yossarian ponders all the people who have died while underwater. This includes Clevinger and Orr. On one occasion, McWatt is in his plane, buzzing the beach. It is meant to be a joke. He inadvertently flies too low. The propeller cuts Kid Sampson in half. The body splatters all over the sand. Everyone is preoccupied with this disaster at the base. In the meantime, McWatt fails to land his plane but rather just flies higher. Yossarian sprints down the runway. He yells at McWatt to land. He knows what McWatt intends to do, though. McWatt flies into the side of a mountain and dies. Colonel Cathcart is so distressed by this that he increases the number of required missions to sixty-five.
Summary — Chapter 31: Mrs. Daneeka
Colonel Cathcart finds out that Doc Daneeka also lost his life in the crash. In response, he increases the number of required missions to seventy. Doc Daneeka was not really killed, though. However, the records show that the doctor was with McWatt in the plane. The records were altered by Yossarian, who was bribed to do so by Doc Daneeka, who hates to fly. He wanted to have some extra recorded flight time). Doc Daneeka is shocked when he learns that he is believed to be dead. His wife in America receives a letter notifying her of her husband’s supposed death. She is devastated. She is cheered up, though, when she finds out that she will receive several monthly payments from a variety of military departments for the remainder of her life, and that she will get large insurance payments form Daneeka’s insurance company. She finds that friends’ husbands are suddenly flirting with her. She dyes her hair.
Doc Daneeka is ostracized by the men in Pianosa. They put the blame on him for the increased number of required missions. He is no longer able to practice medicine. He recognizes that he really is dead in a way. He writes a letter to his wife, pleading with her to tell authorities that he is alive. She thinks about this. However, when she gets a form letter from Colonel Cathcart expressing his feelings of regret over Daneeka’s death, she and her children move to Lansing, Michigan. She does not leave a forwarding address.