Date of Birth: 08/26/1948
High School: Mercy Vocational High School
Street: E. Eyre Street
Branch of Service: Army
Date of Casualty: 09/06/1968
Province of Casualty: Quang Ngai
Philadelphia Memorial Panel: Panel 27
Panel Row: 11
Click on the memorial panel below for a printable photo of the serviceman on this page.
The youngest of six sons, all of whom were military veterans, Secrest aspired to be-come a policeman when he got home from Vietnam. The 20-year-old Army sergeant had attended Mercy Technical School where be studied carpentry, before enlisting in the Army. He was sent to Vietnam and became an assistant squad leader in Cornpany E of the 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 11th Infantry Brigade, Arnerical Division. Secrest had decided to forgo leave in Japan in the summer of 1968 so that he could end his tour of duty earlier and be borne by Thanksgiving, but was killed in action on Sept. 6, 1968, near Da Nang Quang Nam Province. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. The day his body returned to Philadelphia, Secrest's parents received a $500 check he had mailed before his death for them to use on a family vacation. Survivors included his parents, five brothers and four sisters. Secrest was one of at least 11 young men from the Fishtown-Kensington-Port Richmond neighborhoods to die or be missing in action in Vietnarn. All are honored on the Cpl. Charles J. Glenn 3rd Memorial in Fishtown, dedicated in 1967 and one of the first memorials to Vietnam veterans in the U.S.