Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




David C. Smith

Second Committee Member

Jeremy Nadelhaft

Third Committee Member

Ngo Vinh Long


This paper describes why and how from 1971 to 1974 I traced the members of a group of 114 men and women who, like hundreds of thousands of others, were fleeing from Burma after the Japanese invasion of that country in January, 1942. The group walked approximately two hundred and fifty miles from Burma to safety in India under the leadership of Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell of the United States Army in May, 1942. This event became known as the Walkout.

Woven in to the narrative of my search are the recollections of those I interviewed, the Walkout participants and others even remotely connected with the event. How the participants happened to be with General Stilwell, what the Walkout was like, and what became of them are described in their own words.

The paper includes a comparison of their journey with that of others who also walked out of Burma, and a comparison with other historical marches is made. The meaning of the Walkout to history, and its meaning to the participants are described, as well as what my search meant to me.

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Asian History Commons