Chevalier Henry de Tonti—often spelled Tonty— was born in Gaeta, Italy, about 1650. In 1678, he sailed for Canada as LaSalle's lieutenant and devoted the remaining quarter century of his life to exploring and settling the Mississippi basin. He died at Mobile, Louisiana (now Alabama), in September 1704.
(AOG-76: dp. 2,022 (It.) ; 1. 325'; b. 48'; dr. 19'; s. 10 k. (tl.); cpl. 38; cl. Tonti; T1-M-BT2)
Tonti (AOG-76)—originally slated for use by the British under the terms of the Lend-Lease Program— was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 2648) as Tavern on 16 May 1945 at Houston, Tex., by the Todd-Houston Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 23 August 1945; and sponsored by Mrs. E. Bornk-man. Work on completing the ship was suspended on 26 August 1945.
Work was subsequently resumed, and the vessel was completed in December 1945. Apparently named Tonti by the Maritime Commission at this time, she was leased on 24 June 1948 at Orange, Tex., to the Marine Transport Lines, Inc. Operating at first under the supervision of the Naval Transportation Service and, after September 1949, under the auspices of the Military Sea Transportation Service, the gasoline tanker carried liquid cargoes for the Navy. She plied the waters of the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico, ranging as far north as the Labrador Sea. Tonti continued operations through the 1950's. In July 1960, she was returned to the custody of the Maritime Administration and placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet. On 13 January 1965, she was transferred • to the Colombian Navy under the "grant aid" program and served as Mamonal (BT-62) until 1975 when she was scrapped