The 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment was the only Airborne Air Defense Artillery Battalion (Short Range Air Defense) in the US Army and played a unique and vital role to the success of the 82nd Airborne Division. The mission of the 3-4th Air Defense Artillery was to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets form aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance.The unit was first constituted on 11 January 1812 in the Regular Army as a company in the 2nd Regiment of Artillery. It was organized in May 1812 as Captain James N. Barker's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillery. This unit was consolidated in late 1813 with Captain Spotswood Henry's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillery (also organized in 1812), and the consolidated unit designated as Captain James N. Barker's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillery.
The Company was redesignated in December 1813 as Captain Samuel B. Archer's Company, 2nd Regiment of Artillery, on 12 May 1814 as Captain Samuel B. Archer's Company, Corps of Artillery, on 17 May 1815 as Captain Samuel B. Archer's Company, Corps of Artillery, Southern Division. The Company also particiapted in 2 campaigns of the War of 1812, between 1812 and 1815: Canada and Louisiana 1815. The Company also recieved a campaign streamer with bronze star authorized by the US Navy for actions against Algiers in 1815 as part of the Barbary Wars.
The Company was redesignated on 21 August 1816 as Company D, 4th Battalion, Corps of Artillery, Southern Division. The unit was reorganized and redesignated on 1 June 1821 as Company C, 4th Regiment of Artillery. During the Mexican-American War, the Company participated in 8 campaigns: Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Chapultepec, and Tamaulipas 1846. During the American Civil War, the Company participated in 24 campaigns: Peninsula, Shiloh, Valley, Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Murfreesborough, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Shenandoah, Nashville, Appomattox, Virginia 1861, Virginia 1862, Virginia 1863, Virginia 1864, Virginia 1865, and Mississippi 1862.
Also during the 19th Century, the Company participated in a number of campaigns of the wars against the Native Americans. Campaigns before the Civil War included those against the Creeks and Seminoles. Those after the Civil War included: Modocs, Little Big Horn, Nez Perces, and Bannocks.
In 1898, the Company particiapted in the Puerto Rico campaign of the War with Spain. The Company was redesignated on 13 February 1901 as the 38th Company, Coast Artillery, Artillery Corps. This unit was redesignated on 2 February 1907 as the 38th Company, Coast Artillery Corps. The Company was redesignated on 24 July 1916 as the 4th Company, Fort Winfield Scott, California, on 29 March 1917 as the 1st Company, Fort MacArthur (California) and on 31 August 1917 as the 1st Company, Coast Defenses of Los Angeles. This unit was reorganized and redesignated in October 1917 as the 3rd Separate Antiaircraft Battery and demobilized on 22 January 1919 at Fort Totten, New York. The unit was awarded a streamer without inscription for its particiaption in World War I.