Church Play Tells How Christmas Carols Saved Lives in WWIIPBS Newshour aired a report Friday on a Minnesota congregation joining together this holiday season to recreate a true story of events during the Christmas Eve attack on the SS Leopoldville troop-transport ship during World War II’s infamous Battle of the Bulge. In the story, which was put from page to stage by Pastor Tim Hart-Anderson based of the experience of his father veteran Hank Anderson, the Westminster Presbyterian Church recreates the night before Christmas 1944 in the style of 1940s radio dramas. The story centers around the experience of Anderson Sr. on that night at the decisive Battle of the Bulge, where he and a small group of American soldiers avoided the same tragic death as 800 of their brave comrades thanks to their inclination to sing Christmas Carols on the cold Christmas Eve night:

PBS notes that the torpedo strike killed over 800, and was the deadliest incident in the bloodiest battle of the war for the U.S. Army.