The younger son of J. G. Latta, James Douglas Latta was educated at University College School, London. When the war began, he and his brother, John Latta, enlisted in the London Scottish. Both of them transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915. 2nd Lieutenant James Latta received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2067 on a Maurice Farman biplane at Military School, Norwich on 16 November 1915. Flying Nieuport scouts in 1916, Latta scored three victories with 1 Squadron in June and two more victories with 60 Squadron.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Military Cross (MC)
"2nd Lt. James Douglas Latta, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
For conspicuous gallantry and skill. On two occasions he attacked enemy kite balloons, and each time brought down the kite in flames. He has often driven off enemy aircraft, and his own machine has been badly hit."