NANCY, Sept. 12 —It was just 10 years ago that five American tanks rumbled into Nancy to free the city during World War II.
This morning, at the same hour, five American tanks again clattered down the cobblestone road leading into .the city from the hill to the west which overlooks Nancy.
Halfway down the hill the tanks stopped at a fork in the road where three men peered out of the bushes.
These men were waiting in the same spot 10 years ago. They were three of Nancy's resistance heroes who had joined the liberating Americans, and today they were being honored at Nancy's celebration of that event.
Two companies of American troops from Nancy Ordnance Depot and two companies of French soldiers of the 151st Inf Regt at Metz stood at attention as tributes were read to Nancy's fallen war heroes at the resistance monument on the hill above the city.
Later, the troops marched behind the tanks into the city where they participated in rites in front of Nancy's ornate city hall in Place Stanislas.
Col Robert E. Peters, commander of Nancy Ordnance Depot, rode in the first tank, to symbolize the American commander who led the troops into Nancy in 1944.
One American who helped to liberate Nancy was back today. He was Col George R. Clemens, now attached to the U.S. Embassy in Paris. He spent part of the day recalling the liberation with French friends. In 1944 he was a lieutenant colonel who led an artillery unit into the city from the south.
Gen Andre Beaufre, commander of France's 2d Inf Div based at Nancy, was the top French military official at today's ceremonies. Nancy's Senator-Mayor Pinchard and the prefect of the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, Jacques Samama, also participated.
The day closed with a Solemn High Mass in Nancy's cathedral, celebrated by Cardinal Tisserant, Archbishop of Nancy.
Col Earl W. Worley, commander of the 465th Troop Carrier Wing and Toul-Rosieres Air Base, who also attended the ceremonies, said that a flyby of planes from the base had to be cancelled because several of the aircraft were engaged in an emergency airlift of tents, clothing and medical supplies from Paris for victims of the earthquake at Orleansville, Algeria.