Earl Roger Lerch, known as Roger to his classmates, was a member of the Fall Class of 1964 at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco.
He was born on April 25, 1946, to Mark and Edith Lerch. California birth records indicate that he was not born in California. He was an only child. His father was born on December 13, 1914, in Poland and died in San Francisco on January 19, 1963.
He attended Lawton Grammar School and A. P. Giannini Middle School before entering Abraham Lincoln High School in 1961. While in high school, he was active in the Sea Scouts. However, in his high senior year, and after the death of his father, he withdrew from Lincoln prior to graduating and enlisted in the U. S. Navy.
After boot camp and advanced training, he was ordered to Okinawa, where he received additional training in landing craft operations. He was subsequently assigned to South Vietnam and worked with landing craft in Da Nang Harbor. After his tour of duty, he returned to the United States and completed training as a hospital corpsman. He was subsequently advanced to hospital mate third class.
Roger started a second tour of Vietnam on January 8, 1968, as a corpsman and was assigned to a 1st Marine Division combat unit. On June 4, 1968, while on a night patrol with his unit, he stepped on a mine and was killed. At the time of his death, he was 22 years old.
He is listed in the Vietnam Combat Area Casualty List, 1957-1986, Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as having been killed in hostile action.
Earl R. Lerch's name is engraved on Panel 60W, Row 10, on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D. C.
His remains were returned to the United States and interred on June 17, 1968, at the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, in Section X, Grave #1455.