(ATA-217: dp. 1,275; 1. 194'6"; b. 34'7"; dr. 14'1"; s. 12.1 k.; cpl. 57; a. 2 40mm.; cl. Palo Blanco)
A small leguminous tree found in Mexico and the southwestern section of the United States. Also called desert ironwood, the Tesota bears pinnate leaves and purplish white flowers and is known for its extremely hard wood.
ATA-217 was laid down as the net tender Tesota (YN-95) on 11 December 1943 at Slidell, La., by the Canulette Shipbuilding Co.; was reclassified a net laying ship and redesignated AN-71 on 20 January 1944; and was launched on 29 July 1944. However, the name Tesota was canceled on 10 August 1944, and the ship was reclassified an auxiliary ocean tug and re-designated ATA-217 on the same day. She was commissioned on 16 January 1945, Lt. H. A. V. Post, USNR, in command.
Following a short shakedown cruise early in February 1945, the tug departed Norfolk for Hawaii and arrived at her home port, Pearl Harbor, on 1 March. After serving there for more than a year, the ship proceeded to the west coast, was decommissioned at Mare Island on 7 May, and was struck from the Navy list on 21 May 1946. ATA-217 was transferred to the Maritime Commission on 25 March 1947 and was sold the same day to Martinolick Shipbuilding Co., San Francisco.