CSM Bernard Patrick MacGuinness transferred from The Cheshire Regiment into airborne forces during World War II, joining the HQ Platoon, 22nd (Independent) Parachute Coy. He was a keen sportsman, taking part in both boxing and tennis.
On 6 June 1944, CSM MacGuinness jumped into Normandy with members of his unit. At 1100hrs on 9 June, he was sent out on a patrol under the command of Captain I Tait to operate in the woods South East of Landing Zone N, providing protection to a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) Recovery Section. It was for this action that CSM MacGuinness was awarded a Military Medal. His citation reads:
"On 9th June 1944 at approx. 1200 hours a patrol led by the late Capt. I.A. Tait entered Breville, and was at once heavily engaged by enemy snipers and SA [small arms] fire. In this engagement Captain Tait was killed and CSM B.P. MacGuinness had two fingers shot off his left hand. Notwithstanding this CSM MacGuinness took charge of the patrol and ordered a withdrawal, leaving the Bren to give covering fire which he himself controlled, while the remainder of the section retired. After about 40 rounds the Bren became unserviceable. Using then only a Sten gun CSM MacGuinness got the section out of the village, and it was by his example and cool courage that the withdrawal was carried out without further loss."
At 1300hrs on the 9 June 1944, CSM MacGuinness was evacuated due to his injuries.
Bernard MacGuinness died in 1971, at the age of 59.