Leland Faktor was born on May 17, 1921, in Plymouth, Iowa. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on August 9, 1940, and completed Airplane Mechanic's School at Chanute Field, Illinois, in April 1941. Faktor's first assignment was with the 95th Bomb Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group at McChord Field, Washington, where he served until being selected for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. Cpl Faktor was the Engineer-Gunner on the third B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on April 18, 1942, and after bombing its assigned targets in Tokyo, the crew bailed out over China when their aircraft ran out of fuel. Faktor was killed when he landed and fell down a cliff. He was originally interred at Wan Tsuen, China, but his remains were later moved to the Bohemian Cemetery in Plymouth, Iowa, in 1949.
His Distinguished Flying Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary achievement while participating in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland on April 18, 1942. Corporal Faktor volunteered for this mission knowing full well that the chances of survival were extremely remote, and executed his part in it with great skill and daring. This achievement reflects high credit on Corporal Faktor and the military service.