James, how dare you, "Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story".
That about sums it up for most of this stuff.
Back in the 70's, I used to frequent a little store in Santa Monica Ca. called, "Bobs Military Antiques, and war museum", which was filled to the gills with very high end military collectibles. Mostly uniforms, and medals, but also a plethora of arms, and other items. There were rows of mannequins dressed in the full and correct kit for their respective time and place, right down to the smallest detail. This of course was possible because of the huge amount of high quality bringback and souvenier material which came to the US after the war. One of the stores specialties, found behind glass cases in the back of the store in their own section, were the Japanese blades. I watched for years, as small groups of wealthy japanese businessmen would come in to purchase, and re-patriate some of those blades, the rare ones, and they would treat them with religious reverence. I also saw many german vets come in for the various reasons, and was always fascinated to speak with them, and hear about the war from their perspective. I met Medal of Honor winners, (one of whom threw himself on a Japanese grenade and survived) and saw the scars, listened to the stories, and marveled at their exploits.
As young as I was at the time, most of these guys looked pretty old to me, but today I am older than they were in the early seventies. In any case it was all fascinating. One of the things That I learned was that for every man who saw combat, in any theatre, there were a whole bunch on men behind them keeping the ball rolling, that did not, or very little. All luck of the draw.