Other distinctions: Radio Operator 776, Drivers Badge, Carbine Expert.
Ivan enlisted at Fort Snelling, MN. Served in Germany for most of his time in the military. Had a partner by the name of Smokey (a german Shepherd) that he tried to bring home with him but was unable to. Instead he brought back a German Swastika that he took off the front of a German truck. Here is that story:
After WWII was over, the soldiers remained in Germany for several months. They became very friendly with the people of the towns and villages where they were stationed...People would direct the soldiers to where they could find souvenirs they could possibly bring home. Ivan had a ring made out of German silver coins, with his Initials on it (ILP). Then they realized some guys were taking actual things a belt buckles off of bodies...Not Ivan. He found a place where damaged vehicles were and took the Swastika off the front of a Truck. Well, since he had already asked to bring his dog back (Smokey) and they had refused, he hid the Swastika as best he could in his duffel bag....When they were being loaded into the ship for the trip to USA...another soldier in front of him had a sword partially sticking out of his bag and the commanding officer walked up to him and said "Hey soldier, you're going to lose that", and pushed it further down in his bag. So Ivan knew he was OK...with his Swastika.
Written by Elizabeth Peloquin (Wife)