Frank Martinek was a naval officer in the 1920s. From his experiences, he developed the character of Winslow and the details for story lines that would show how U.S. Naval Forces operated. Originally the stories were published as books.
When Martinek decided to transfer his character to a comic strip format, he teamed with Beroth, a fellow naval officer who agreed to draw the strip. Colonel Knox, publisher of the Chicago Daily News, liked the concept, and the strip debuted in May of 1934. Knox later became the secretary of the U.S. Navy.
The Don Winslow radio program began on NBC Blue October 19, 1937. It ran for only two seasons. It was resurrected on October 5, 1942 in an effort to support the war effort. It was sponsored by Post Toasties.