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Couple from Banks pass away on same day in Inez, Texas

Funeral services for a former Banks couple will be held Saturday at Sandfield Cemetery.

Wallace Lamar Brown, 91, and Bobby Jean Green Brown, 85, died January 9, 2018 at their home in Inez, Texas.

At age 17, Wallace Brown joined the Alabama Guard and later became pilot in the U.S. Air Force and served for 23 years. During the Korean War, Brown was captured and held as a POW in a Chinese prison for more than two years.

Sherroll Tatom, a native of Banks who makes his home in Brundidge, said he knew Wallace Brown as a young man and remembers when he came home from Korea to somewhat of a hero’s welcome.

“Wallace was from Josie and we were close in age,” Tatom said. “He wanted to be a pilot so he joined the Air Force and learned to fly. He was stationed in the Pacific when his plane was shot down and he was held prisoner for about two years.”

When Brown came home, there was a joyful celebration in Banks. Some people had been afraid that he would never come home, Tatom said.

“You just don’t know those things and it had been a long time, but he came home,” Tatom said. “Wallace wrote a book about his experiences as a POW. I got one of his books and it was most interesting. And it was concerning, too, because of what the POWs were subjected to. One thing I remember about Wallace’s book was that, to keep his sanity, he said he built houses in his mind, one plank at time. Those POWs suffered. What all, we just don’t know.”

The B-29 co-pilot was quoted as having said that every hour as a POW seemed like a month and every second was filled with pain.

Bobby Jean Green Brown worked as a dental hygienist during the time her husband was a POW. She was active in the community, especially with the hospital auxiliary and later with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of 1812 and Daughters of the Indian Wars.

The couple was married for 67 years and lived in Panama City and Ft. Walton Beach, Guntersville and several Texas cities.