James Curtis Bellamy was an officer’s steward third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
Mr. Bellamy was born Sept. 24, 1917. The Navy listed his hometown as Shallotte, a town of about 400 people in far southeast North Carolina. It did not name his parents.
Mr. Bellamy enlisted in the Navy on Feb. 4, 1936, at Raleigh, North Carolina. He married Velma Ray Harris in January 1941 in Seattle, Washington. The battleship was berthed nearby at the Puget Sound Navy yard at the time.
As an officer’s steward, Mr. Bellamy was part of the Navy’s segregated mess attendant branch. Mess attendants were African-American or from the Philippines or Guam. They cooked, cleaned and performed other service tasks. Mess attendants could advance to become a steward or cook for officers, but that was their limit