Athol Ivan VASTA
Service Number: NZ405645
RNZAF Trade: Radio Mechanic
Date of Enlistment: 27th of December 1940
Rank Achieved: Corporal
Flying Hours: nil known
Operational Sorties: nil known
Date of Birth: Born on the 13th of November 1915, at Tokoroa Bay
Personal Details: Athol grew up on a farm at Te Miro, in the Cambridge district, that was owned by his mother and stepfather, the Thompsons. He attended Te Miro School. At one point he moved into Cambridge township, but later returned to the farm to help his mother when his stepfather passed away.
Service Details: Athol enlisted at RNZAF Station Harewood on the 27th of Decmber 1940, and trained as a radio mechanic. He managed to serve on both the major theatres of the war. He was sent to England first, aboard the SS Aorangi to Vancouver and then onwards to Britain. There he served with No. 488 (NZ) Squadron, RAF, servicing the radar units on their Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito night fighters.
He later returned to New Zealand and was sent up to the Pacific theatre of war, serving on Espiritu Santos, servicing equipment from Corsair aircraft.
Details of Death: Athol died on the 8th of April 2002
Connection with Cambridge: Athol was a long time resident of Cambridge before the war.