According to James' death certificate, he died in a boat collision while in the Coast Guard. He was decapitated in the collision.
Seattle Daily Times 2/17/1958 abstracted
A Coast Guard crew recovered a sunken patrol boat in the Gulf of Mexico. It sank after a collision with a barge being towed by a Mexican tug. Killed were Charles Moore, 21, Sylva, NC; James Bellinger, 22, Galveston; and Jerry Boyette, 17, San Antonio, TX.
First Name: Yvonne Middle Name: Shirley Last Name: Bellinger Name Suffix: Birth Date: 16 August 1933 Social Security Number: 574-09-9914 Place of Issuance: Alaska Last Residence: Mesquite, Dallas, Texas Zip Code of Last Residence: 75149 Death Date: 27 July 2006 Estimated Age at Death: 73