Air Commodore Pink chose RAF Manston as his final resting place and a number of aces from the First World War such as Squadron Leader Bartlett served there. After the uncertainty of the 1920s, RAF Manston grew rapidly during the 1930s to become one of the busiest airfields in the country. The School of Technical Training was at the forefront of the RAF where thousands of airmen trained each year and it was an integral part of the service's expansion scheme. Empire Air Days and air races became regular events during the 1930s and when Ramsgate Municipal Airport opened, RAF Manston had to compete with it to stage them. 48 Squadron was formed at Manston in 1936 with the Avro Anson and it was the RAF's first monoplane to have a retractable undercarriage. On the outbreak of war, various fighter squadrons operated from Manston and being the airfield closest to France, its squadrons proudly played a leading role in the evacuation of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.