The U.S. Navy’s use of shipboard radiotelephone (RT)—also known as “voice radio”—for tactical communications began in 1916, when the first RT message was sent from ship to ship. During World War I, primitive voice radios were used for limited tactical purposes in convoys and among hunter-killer groups. Progress was sporadic between the world wars, but the Navy was often at the forefront of radio development.
Bluejacket's Manual - Talking Between Ships
By Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy (Retired)