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Nimitz Library

The Navy Boys in the Track of the Enemy

The Navy Boys in the Track of the Enemy was part of New York publisher A.L. Burt’s Navy Boys series. Burt started his business in 1883 and, by 1933, the firm had become the second largest reprint house in the United States, after Grosset and Dunlap. Juvenile fiction was one of the first areas in which Burt began publishing. He was the first to offer Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan books in popularly priced editions. There were eventually twelve titles in Burt’s Navy Boys series.

William Pendleton Chipman (1854-1937), the author of The Navy Boys in the Track of the Enemy, was a Baptist minister who wrote a number of “boys’ books,” including another Navy Boys’ tale, Two Yankee Middies, a Story of the First Cruise of an American Squadron in 1775. Illustrator John Watson Davis was born in New York in 1870 and died in California in 1959. His art appeared in magazines and books, including the novels of Zane Grey and Horatio Alger. The figures in his drawing are wearing uniforms of a later date than the action of the story.

These two books are part of the collection of juvenile literature that Rear Admiral James Winnefeld, USN (Ret.) gave to the Special Collections & Archives Department in 2002.

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