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Marketplace - Con Thien, Vietnam.
Just two miles from Vietnam’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Con Thien was a small remote firebase. To keep the pressure off Con Thien, the Marines initiated Operation Buffalo in the summer of 1967, two companies of infantry intended to establish forward operating bases north of the Trace — a 600m swath of land situated between Con Thien and Gio Linh, known as McNamara Line. Then they would sweep the area separating the bases.
On the morning of 2 July, Alpha and Bravo Companies, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines made their way up north on Highway 561 and secured a crossroad as their first objective. As they went further north between Gia Binh and An Kha, near a place called "The Market Place" they made contact with the elements of the NVA 90th Regiment when sniper fire began to break out. Enemy fire intensified as efforts were made by the 3rd Platoon to suppress it. Tri-directional ambushes had virtually decimated company B.  Alpha Company, sent to rescue Company B was ambushed. During the battle the PAVN used flamethrowers in combat for the first time setting fire to hedgerows along Highway 561 forcing the Marines out into the open, exposing them to artillery, mortar and small arms fire, causing heavy casualties on A and B Companies and prevented them from linking up. B Company Headquarters was wiped out when a single PAVN artillery round exploded within the command group. The company commander, Capt. Sterling K. Coates, two platoon leaders, the radio operator, forward observer and several others were killed.
Airstrikes disrupted PAVN attempts to "hug" the 1st Platoon, eventually allowing the 1st Platoon and the battered 2nd Platoon to link up. 1/9's commander, LtCol Richard Schening, sent out a small rescue force involving C and D Companies supported by four tanks. Using helicopter and tank fire to disperse enemy troops, D Company was able to secure a helicopter landing zone for the evacuation of casualties. C Company then continued to move north under heavy fire to rescue what was left of the two Companies.
Out of nearly 400 Marines, the two Companies suffered 84 killed, 190 wounded and 9 missing making this the worst one-day loss for the Marines in Vietnam. Only 27 Marines from B/1/9 and about 90 from A/1/9 were fit for duty after the first day. U.S. forces reported that the PAVN suffered 55 killed with another 88 believed to have been killed, but unaccounted for.