Yossarian is promoted to captain after a mission where he misses a bomb target, but went back to hit the target. To cover up the mess, the General Dreedle and Colonel Cathcart decide to give Yossarian a medal of honor and they promote Yossarian to captain.
Yossarian then believes that millions of people are trying to kill him and tries to escape the war by spending all his time at the hospital. At the hospital, Yossarian amuses himself by censoring letters and crossing out all the romance words. Yossarian signs the censorer as “Washington Irving” or “Irving Washington,” and Major Major Major Major copies what Yossarian does soon after to official documents, because paper that was signed as “Washington Irving” never came back to him. While these events are going on, Colonel Cathcart tries desperately to get promoted to general and tries to get his men to pray so his squadron can be on Saturday Evening Post.
Milo starts his own business on buying and selling things for Army from “legalized” Black Market, and makes massive profit. Meanwhile, Nately falls in love with a prostitute in Rome and follows her around. Orr runs away to Sweden for freedom, and new enlisted men come to take Orr’s place in Yossarian’s tent and throw Mudd’s belongings away, and burn Orr’s works he left behind. When Yossarian and Nurse Duckett are at a beach enjoying the view, McWatt flies his plane low at the beach to joke around, but accidently cuts Kid Sampson in half with propeller, killing him. McWatt, who is horrified because he killed Kid Sampson, then commits suicide by crashing into a side of the mountain.
Doc Daneeka was supposed to be inside McWatt’s plane, but he bribed someone to just put in the record that he was on the plane. When Colonel Cathcart learns that Doc Daneeka is “officially” dead, he raises the mission required to be sent back to home to seventy even though Doc Daneeka is not dead yet. Everyone in the squadron except Yossarian and chaplain believes that Doc Daneeka is a form of undead. Mrs. Daneeka is sent a letter that Doc Daneeka was killed in action, and insurance money flocks into her bank account. Mrs. Daneeka then moves to Michigan without any forwarding address.
On the 71st mission, the mission had many casualties, and Nately is one of the people who are killed. Chaplain and Yossarian are devastated with the loss of Nately, and Nately’s whore falls in love with Nately a mission before Nately gets killed. When Yossarian delivers the news of Nately’s death to Nately’s whore, Nately’s whore blames the death on Yossarian and tries to kill him, and somehow gets to place where he is even when Yossarian dropped Nately’s whore into enemy territory. Yossarian is arrested for being in Rome without a pass. Chaplain is accused of forging “Washington Irving” into the letters and Colonel Korn and Cathcart gets Yossarian to agree to betray his deceased squad members so he can get their reputations higher. However, Yossarian breaks the promise, and decides to go to Sweden so he can live there with Orr until the war is over.