Adrian Lonsdale, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard (retired), is a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, established May 4, 2004, in opposition to John Forbes Kerry's candidacy for U.S. presidential election, 2004.
Lonsdale and Kerry
In a May 4, 2004, Boston Globe article, Glen Johnson and Michael Kranish write:
- "'He earned his medals, he did what he was supposed to do in Vietnam,' said retired Coast Guard Captain Adrian Lonsdale, who was in the chain of command above Kerry and oversaw various operations dealing with Navy swift boats of the type Kerry commanded. 'But I was very disappointed in his statements after he got out of the Navy. He is fit to be a great senator. But by his unfounded accusations about the atrocities, I was just very disappointed,' Lonsdale said. 'It is the difference between being a senator and president of the United States.'"
Jack Stewardson, in the November 4, 1996, issue of South Coast Today, wrote:
- "Adrian Lonsdale remembers a young John F. Kerry as a naval officer who was a good debater, even back in his days in Vietnam.
- "'He and I and others used to have long discussions at the officers club,' said Mr. Lonsdale of Mattapoisett, a former Coast Guard officer who commanded a division in which the Massachusetts senator was attached back in 1969. 'They were very spirited discussions about the war and the politics back home.'
- "'He was opposed to the war but it didn't make any difference in his performance,' said the former owner and still instructor at Northeast Maritime Institute in New Bedford. 'He was a very good officer.'
- "Capt. Lonsdale was among a group of former Vietnam veterans the Massachusetts Democrat brought to the Charlestown navy yard recently to rebut a Boston Globe column that raised questions about Sen. Kerry's Vietnam service, particularly the Silver Star he won.
- "Mr. Lonsdale was in charge of a two-division flotilla opereating [sic] out of Phu Quoc, a big island near the Cambodian border. One division was made up of Swift boats, fast 50-foot offshore boats, while the other was composed of 82-foot Coast Guard patrol boats."
Jonathan Z. Larsen, in the March/April 2004 Campaign Journal article "The Endless Assignment. Nine Perspectives from the Edge of Hell," cites from "Tour of Duty" that he "found of interest ... the specific criticism the book offers of the officers to whom Kerry and his fellow Swift boat skippers reported."
- "Captain Roy Hoffman was the commander of the Navy Coastal Surveillance Force, and it was Hoffman's decision to send Navy Swift boats up the narrow rivers in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam -- almost always without support from helicopters or artillery -- where they ran the risk of mines and were fired on almost at will by Viet Cong dug in along the river's banks. A Swift boat mission up a Mekong Delta river was a fool's errand, serving no greater purpose than showing the flag. At one point, Kerry and a fellow skipper named Don Droz protested to Hoffman's immediate superior, Area Commander Adrian Lonsdale, an act of courage in itself. Kerry told the commander: 'Sir, I don't see how you can ask American troops to risk their lives when the priority in that area isn't high enough to warrant their getting certain support. I just don't think that's right.' A career Navy officer, Lonsdale told Kerry and Droz he was doing what he was told and couldn't fight it."