The SCR-536 is often considered the first of modern hand held, self-contained, "handie talkie" two-way radios. It was developed in 1940 by a team led by Don Mitchell, chief engineer for Galvin Manufacturing (now Motorola) and was the first true hand-held unit to see widespread use. By July 1941, it was in mass production. In November 1942, the SCR-536 received coverage in the amateur radio magazine QST.
It appeared on the cover as well as in Signal Corps advertising, and was featured as part of an article on the Signal Corps. “Smallest field unit of the Signal Corps,” a photo caption read, “it is not much larger or heavier than a conventional handset.” It was carried among the first waves to hit Omaha Beach at Normandy in June, 1944. Every rifle company of the U.S. 29th Infantry division had six; one for each of three rifle platoons, two for the weapons platoon, and one for the company CO.
Today the SCR-536 is often restored and operated by vintage amateur radio enthusiasts and military radio collectors