My father is a WWll veteran, 6th armored div. in europe from july of 44 until being severly wounded in Germany in March of 45. As a kid I used to ask him why he never brought a luger home for me (the fact that I was born 10 years after the war's end never dawned on me at the time) anyway here are his thoughts on vet bringbacks.
Actual combat troops did not pick up enemy trophies for two reasons. (1) they did not want to carry them, and had no place to store them, and during the war you could not mail them home. Remember even letters went by V-mail prior to wars end.
(2) The "word" among the troops was that if you were captured with a German pistol or other souveniors, you would be shot. (I am not saying that was true, just what they believed at the time.) He did say they were "rougher" with germans they captured carrying US Model 1911's, because they assumed that they had either killed the GI who owned it, or had robbed the dead.
As dad was in an armored infantry unit, their squad was assigned a halftrack for transport when the unit's tanks were on the move. During the infratry shortage in the winter of 44/45 they were often separated from the tanks and used as regular foot infantry.
In the latter part of Feb. 1945, German units started surrendering in entire unit formations. In one of these events, Dad noticed a very young kid who was wearing a belt and holster that was so new it was still shiny. Normal procedure was to have them drop all weapons, field gear and helmets, and then they were checked for any prohibited items. Because of the condition of the holster, the fact that they happened to be near their squads halftrack, and the general belief that the war would end any day, Dad decided to keep it. He told me the only mark on it was two initials scratched into the back of the holster, and that the kid had obviously been impressed with the importance of keeping his pistol clean, as it was well oiled, unloaded, and wrapped in a rag, and then stuffed into the holster. He put the luger with his pack, which was stored in the halftrack. He said they never carried packs when on foot, carrying rations in a mussette bag and or pockets.
Dad was hit by artillary and small arms fire some (3) weeks later while manning a forward listening point. Weeks later while in a hospital in England, he got a letter from another non-com in his squad telling him that he had his pack and personal items and that he would see to it that they were sent to him. Naturally none of these items ever turned up. Dad has choice words for those in both combat and support units, that made a habit of stealing from dead and wounded troops on both sides.
After spending almost two years in hospital on both sides of the Atlantic, dad did survive his wounds, although missing part of his right leg and right hand. Last Aug. dad celebrated his 89th. birthday and the following day was awarded the Bronze Star that he was authorized for action in the Battle of the Bulge in Dec. of 1944. The army apologized for the delay of 60 years, saying the paperwork had been misplaced.