Operation Rei

This was a Japanese naval gunfire bombardment of the ‘Love III’ assault force and beach-head on Mindoro in the Philippine islands group (24/27 December 1944).

Under the command of Rear Admiral Masatomi Kimura, the Japanese force, which departed Cam Ranh Bay in Japanese-occupied Indo-China on 24 December, comprised the heavy cruiser Ashigara, light cruiser Oyodo and destroyers Kasumi (flag), Kiyoshimo, Asashimo, Kaya, Sugi and Kashi. One US transport was sunk, but as the Japanese force turned away North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers as well as fighter-bombers of Lieutenant General Ennis C. Whitehead’s 5th AAF arrived overhead and inflicted damage on almost all the Japanese ships. PT-boats also attacked the Japanese force, PT-223 sinking Kiyoshimo.

An attack on 27 December by the submarine Baja on the retiring Japanese force was unsuccessful.