CinCPac-CinCPOA Bulletin 157-45 “SOUVENIRS” was written sometime after the surrender of Germany, but before the defeat of Japan, with the following guidance on souvenirs. There were likely other similar documents, or changes to this document, issued after VJ-Day as the quantity of Japanese ammunition souvenirs is much larger than might have been smuggled home in violation of the directions here.
(pages 11-13) "It is an offense, punishable by court martial, for unauthorized personnel unnecessarily to handle or attempt to disarm captured ammunitions. Trained personnel are present on each operation to handle enemy munitions as necessary.
The retention as souvenirs of explosives and ammunition, or any part of component thereof, is expressly forbidden. The ‘any part or component thereof’ means that you are just wasting your time if you try to turn a shell into a fancy ash tray, lamp, picture frame or letter opener. The articles are parts of shells and will not be allowed as souvenirs.
It’s very easy to say, ‘I’m sure the shell I am sending home is completely safe’, but there have been too many cases of ‘safe’ shells reaching the states and killing people…"
The complete document can be downloaded as a 6.6MB .pdf from: