The story may be apochryphal. If true I can't recall the guys name or there may have been more than one. To me it makes sense.
I once read of a statement by a WWII U-Boat captain who said it was interesting to see the most calloused of the young atheists come aboard. It was interesting to watch them when the depth charging began as these young atheists would hit their knees and find the Lord.
Given the gentleman's age, that would be a fair presumption, now wouldn't it?