Here we go with the stories, but . . . ;-)
I had a family friend who was an 1st Lt. (Army) who served int he Pacific. He had his 1911A1 that he carried. When I asked him how he was able to keep it, he sorta smiled and told me that when their ship docked, he put on an MP armband and walked off with it hanging on his pistol belt. With the MP band, no one questioned him.
His father was in Supply Sgt. in Battery E, 328th F.A. in WW I. He also was able to hang on to his 1911 when he came home. He and his brother owned a hardware store in St. Johns, MI. He told me the story many times of how after the Armistice was signed, he went out and picked up 10 German Mausers. Somehow, he crated them up and shipped them back to his brother who received the crate and put it in the back room of the store. Several years after returning, he decided it was time to open it up and get them out. He always laughed when he told of his surprise as he opened the crate and when he looked in, it was full of rocks and no Mausers. Somewhere on the way home someone else had helped themselves.
My uncle was a ship's doctor in the navy on a tanker in the Pacific near the end of the war and then went to Japan. I was always amazed at the stuff he brought back - Japanese helmets, Arisaka Rifles (at least 3), a nom'com samurai sword, etc. I remember he told me he traded a tube of toothpaste to a Marine for the sword. I would imagine that being a ship's doctor as well as his rank had a little to do with getting more than one Arisaka back home.
Several years ago, I sold a Colt 1911A1 with pistol belt, holster, magazine pouch and three magazines that had been brought back by a Navy pilot after WWII. I never asked him how he got it home but for many years, I was afraid to register it (I live in MI) for fear it would show up on a stolen government property list of some sort. When I decided to sell it, I had to register it and there was no problem. The lady at the Sheriffs Dept. just smiled and said that over the years she had registered a lot of handguns marked "U.S. Property". O course it was stolen by the pilot - but hey, that's human nature I guess.
Just think of all of the millions of dollars worth of government property that was dumped into the sea after the war because it was no longer needed. What a waste!
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63