At 10 am on the 2nd of July, Company B from 1/9 was on patrol about a mile and a half northeast of Con Thien and made contact with what they thought was a small, well-entrenched enemy unit. In what is now reminiscent of the enemy actions in Hickory II, B/1/9's contact soon evolved into a major attack by 5 NVA battalions employing mass artillery that was coordinated by ground attack forces. The enemy also employed mortars and flame throwers. The rest of 1/9 attempted to joined the fray, moving toward the battle by chopper and on the ground. Substantial supporting fire (arty, air, and naval) was brought to bear on the NVA ground forces. In an attempt to disrupt the reinforcement effort, the NVA unleased over a thousand artillery and mortar rounds on Gio Linh and Con Thien, 700 of which fell on 1/9 alone. By mid-afternoon 3/9 had entered the battle, choppering in from Dong Ha, and attacked from the enemy's left flank. This did the trick. The NVA broke contact and retreated to the DMZ. Although the NVA suffered 55 KIA (conf.) and 88 (prob.), the Marines had suffered sizable losses, 84 KIA, 1 MIA and 190 WIA. Clearly, a very bad day for 1/9.