Surname Aspinall Forename(s) Louis Date of death 20-Mar-44 Place of death Italy World War 2 Serial No 67312 Rank Private Address on enlistment Apia, Samoa Next of kin Mrs D. Aspinall (wife), Lotopa, Western Samoa
Wounded: Evening Post 7 Jan 1944
Submitted by TeAwhi_Manahi on Sat, 13/11/2010 - 06:10
Mormon Maori Battalion Members in Egypt
Submitted by SAspinall on Sat, 25/04/2020 - 07:57
(Excerpt taken from, "The Heavens Are Open - CH7 "I Will Go Before Your Face", pgs 108-109, Richard O. Cowan)
After being in New Zealand for several weeks, Robert L. Simpson had a vivid dream that impressed him with the need to put forth an effort to learn the Maori language. He was left with the impression that "you are going to need this language when you get through with your mission. You are going to need it." Elder Simpson heeded the warning, learned the language, and served a successful mission. Shortly afterwards, World War II broke out and Robert joined the Air Force. While awaiting orders he thought, "Here I go right back to New Zealand." Much to his surprise, just before his group of hundreds of men were to sail out into the Pacific, he and four others were reassigned to a small American air base near Cairo, Egypt. "I don't know what the Lord has in mind," Brother Simpson reflected, "but I'll just do the best I can, and I am sure that everything will work out all right." Within forty-eight hours he discovered that an entire Maori Battalion was stationed "within the very shadows" of the American air base. "For nearly two years I had the privilege of being there and meeting each Sunday with these Maori boys, bearing testimony with them in their own tongue, organizing them into small groups as they went up into the front lines in order that they might have their sacrament meetings and do the things that they needed to do....I want to tell you," Elder Simpson concluded, "that the Lord had a hand in writing military orders because of all of the places in this world that Air Force men were being sent, very few were sent to Cairo, Egypt."