With 16 North American B-25 Mitchells, the aerial armada assembled for the movie adaptation of Joseph Heller’s seminal satire Catch-22 was among the most potent in cinematic history. Perhaps it was in keeping with the often absurdist black comedy that 1,500 flying hours ended up being edited down to 17 minutes…

AM Nov 16) Catch-22 pic 1_CMYK cropped.jpg
Preparing for the classic Catch-22 scene: 16 B-25 Mitchells lined up for take-off from the film’s specially constructed runway near Guaymas, Mexico.

Brooklyn-born Joseph Heller joined the US Army Air Forces in 1942, at the age of 19. By 1944 he was stationed in the Italian theatre with the 488th Bomb Squadron, part of the 340th Bomb Group, as a B-25 Mitchell bombardier, flying some 60 missions before the war ended. Returning to the United States, Heller became a writer, and in 1953 began what would become his defining literary work, Catch-22.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below